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"Defensive resolve is key"

5 February 2015

Manager on keeping it tight at the back

Steve Clarke has highlighted the Royals' excellent resolve in recent weeks.

His team have kept four clean sheets in their last six games, conceding only seven goals in Clarke's nine games at the helm.

He said, "At the moment we're defending well and we look solid. We're playing with a bit of resolve.

"Listen I get the job because the situation hadn't been great, and the game before was a minus five on the goal difference.

"Slowly we have to start chipping back at that, get the goal difference positive, and that will take time. But the basis for most successful teams is a solid defence."

With four wins, three draws and just two defeats since coming in, Clarke and assistant Kevin Keen have seen a real upturn in results.

He is keen to see continued improvement, saying, ""I think we've scored ten, which is not too bad, and only conceded seven.

"Step by step, I keep saying it, I can see us improving and I hope the supporters feel the same."

At the back, Michael Hector continues to put in good performances, and the boss said, "Michael has been really good in the last three games. He's growing up, becoming a proper defender as I would call it, doing the right things at the right time.

"He's competitive, shows a bit of composure when he needs to. I think he's got a big future in front of him, but we'll keep his feet on the ground. Keep him working hard to improve as a defender.

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