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Clarke ready to utilise the squad

20 February 2015

Boss on a packed schedule

Steve Clarke believes the Reading squad is set to be tested to the limit, as he hinted that changes to his side could be necessary to cope with fixture congestion

The club face Ipswich Town as part of a packed schedule involving 13 games in just over six weeks, giving players little time for recuperation between matches.

“It’s difficult because you don’t get a lot of time on the training ground, so you spend a little bit more time maybe in the meeting room, a little bit more time showing the players what we want,” said Clarke.

“I’ve got a good squad here, there is a lot of the extended squad who haven’t had a look in recently; while I’ve been laying down my principles and trying to bed the team down I’ve used a smaller number of players than maybe I should’ve done. I felt that was the right thing to do at the time. Now with the matches coming up there’s a chance to use the extended squad a little bit more and hopefully when those boys go in they’re ready to go.

“At this moment in time it would be great to have a free week where we could sit down and go through a few more basic principles that maybe have slipped out the game a little bit. But that’s my job, I’ll find a way – don’t worry!”

A tough test lies in wait at Portman Road, with the Tractor Boys boasting the best home record in the Sky Bet Championship as they push for automatic promotion.

“Ipswich have had a great season and they’re there on merit. Mick is a proper football manager, he always gets his teams well organised, well disciplined. They know how to play, they know how to get results and we’ll go there expecting a really, really difficult game. We do go there with confidence because our away form has been decent and we’re looking to make amends for a very, very disappointing home performance in midweek. I look forward to seeing a reaction.”

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