Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Clarke: That shows how far we've come

7 February 2015

Boss reflects on cracking victory

Steve Clarke was delighted with our performance in a 2-1 win away to Wolves, and said the victory showed how much his team have improved in recent weeks.

The victory came against a Wolves side in good form, but the Royals have now lost only twice in ten games since Clarke took charge.

A Pavel Pogrebnyak goal after 19 seconds was cancelled out by former Royal Benik Afobe, only for an excellent Danny Williams goal to give us three points.

The boss said, "I think slowly we've been improving over a number of games, and this result shows how far we've come.

"Now we have to make sure we don't get carried away, and we build on it.

"I felt this afternoon was going to be pivotal in our season, I wanted the players to show their improvement, which is exactly what they've done."

We overcame a Wolves team who had suffered just one defeat in ten, and the boss said, "We knew coming here would be a good test.

"We started quickly, we got the goal early which gave us a good platform. First half I didn't think we built on that platform so we had a chat at half time, I knew we had more to come but I wasn't sure Wolves had more to give. Fortunately that's how it turned out, I thought we controlled it and were much better second half. With a bit more care and attention we could have had a third."

The Royals have looked creative in their last couple of games, with four goals scored against Sheff Wed and Wolves sides with excellent defensive records.

The boss said, "[Creating] is important, people maybe got carried away after Millwall when we didn't get a goal. But sometimes you have to be patient. Defensively we're much stronger and showing great resolve. We just want to keep adding creativity.

"Today I thought Pavel and Simon were excellent and linked the team well. They give us a goal threat as well. It was a great ball from Coxy for Pav's goal, and a clever centre forward's run. The big man is on fire.

"Then Danny Williams scored and it's a collector's item I believe! He started the move in our right back area, got himself forward and then onto a clever pass from McCleary."

New signing Yakubu was an unused sub as we stayed firm for all three points, with the boss using fellow Nigerian Hope Akpan instead late on. "Every time I turned around I could see Yakubu looking at me trying to get on! The last change was straightforward, Simon was always coming off, then I had to choose between another attacker to get the third and kill it, or Hope to see it out. Thankfully it worked out with Hope."

Jem Karacan missed out, and the boss explained, "He picked up a little niggle in the Under 21 game Tuesday, he could have played on, but as a precaution with him being out so long we just took our time. We'll make sure we look after him so he's back at the right time."

We now look to Leeds on Tuesday night, and Steve said, "We don't rest on our laurels.

"It'll be a tough game but we will keep working. Our fans can see our players giving everything for the cause."

Advertisement block