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Clarke on FA Cup, Yakubu, Wigan & finances

16 February 2015

Boss in-depth on TALKsport

Royals boss Steve Clarke was on TALKsport on Monday morning, discussing our FA Cup win at Derby, Yakubu, Tuesday's game with Wigan and much more besides.

Steve spoke with presenter Alan Brazil and former England man Ray Wilkins, read below for a full transcript.

AB: FA Cup draw tonight, notmany people are talking about Reading. Steve Clarke's gone in there, that was a great victory on Saturday. OK Derby were down to ten men but Reading will go into the draw having won 2-1 at the iPro Stadium. I'm delighted to welcome Stevie Clarke, good morning Steve.
Morning Alan, morning Ray.

AB: Steve well done first of all, cracking result, not easy up at Derby, they're a good strong side.
They're a good team this year. Strong team last year as well, they've built well and have got a good team. For us it was a good performance and a really good win.

AB: In the draw tonight, you'd take anyone at home?
I've got to be honest Alan, when you get to this stage you take whoever comes out of the hat. You've just got to deal with it, I'm not one to dream too much or think too much about something you can't influence. We just try to take who we get, but before that we've got a lot of League games to play.

RW: Steve where did Yakubu come from?
We found him in Qatar! He'd gone on a little tour Ray! He'd gone to China and scored a few goals, gone to Qatar and scored a few...

..He always will!..
..Yes, I got a phone call to say he was free, his contract was finished and he was looking to come back to England. For us it was a no-risk deal, he could come on a free and in today's market his wages are relatively low. He wanted to come back and get himself a few goals in the Championship and we're glad he came.

AB: His Premier League goals record is sensational.
Well he's a goalscorer. Good target man, if you get the ball into his feet he'll keep hold of it, he'll always find a pass and he's given the place a little lift, he's a good character, good to have around the place, always got a smile on his face. And good experience which is very important.

AB: How are you enjoying it at Reading so far, it's gone great.
It's been good. Only one big disappointment was the home defeat to Leeds, after a great away performance at Wolves we let ourselves down a little bit. We've got Wigan tomorrow night and it's an important game for us because we're still too close to the bottom end of the Championship. Malky and Wigan are desperate for points. We've got five League games to play before we get to the cup game, and we'd like to get ourselves a few points so we can go into it with a nice relaxed frame of mind and a positive attitude.

RW: We were talking to Jon Stead about that, it's very important the League form doesn't suffer. The bread and butter is the League, the cup refreshes things.
Yes, that's what it does Ray, it gives us a break from the grind of the League. The League's been difficult for Reading this year, I don't know why, we've got a lot of good players but not been able to string enough consistency together to challenge in the top half. So we have to deal with where we are in the League which is too close to the bottom, so the next few games are really important for us.

AB: Without reaching for the sky, Reading is a club, with the Stadium and everything it's no problem in the Premier League, it's fantastic.
Facilities are good, the setup is good, not too far from London so it's a good draw for players to come to the club. Two years ago Reading were in the Premier League, what the club is suffering from is still carrying Premier League wages. Things are a bit tight which is why we didn't do too much in January. But with a bit of good housekeeping, some clever signings in the summer, we hope to be challenging next year to get back into the Premier League.

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