Forward eyeing extended cup runNick Blackman is in a confident mood ahead of Reading’s FA Cup Fifth Round clash with Derby County this weekend, despite a disappointing defeat against Leeds United on Tuesday night.
The Royals' loss was only their second in 10 games but they have an immediate opportunity to regain that winning feeling when they travel north to take on Steve McClaren’s Rams on Saturday.
And the 25-year-old, who has notched five goals this season, including the winner against Huddersfield Town in the third round, is keen for a response when they take on their Championship rivals.
“It will be good to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible against Derby. It will be nice to keep the cup run going and we’ve got a great chance against a very good Derby County side,” he said.
“There isn’t any less pressure in the FA Cup than the league. They’re another Championship team and they’re right up at the top, so we want to test ourselves and see how far we’ve come.
“The boys are always confident. Obviously the Leeds game didn’t go for us but we go again Saturday. We’ve got to bounce back as quickly as possible.”
Reading’s FA Cup run has featured wins away at Cardiff City and Huddersfield, with the striker's decisive effort against the Terriers securing Steve Clarke's first away win as Royals boss.
But, although a Wembley semi-final is potentially just two games away, Blackman is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
He said: “We’re not focusing on that but obviously it’s a great incentive to progress through to the next round and that’s what we’re aiming to do.
“We take each day and each game as it comes and we try to do as best as we can in each one.
“Leeds didn’t go for us but we’re still confident for Derby. We have been doing really well and we can’t forget that.
“We’ve got a lot of ability in the changing room and hopefully we can get through to the next round.”
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