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Jackett hails Royals backline

9 February 2015

Praise from Wolves boss

Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Kenny Jackett praised Reading’s defensive solidity following his side’s 2-1 loss to the Royals on Saturday.

The former Millwall boss highlighted the performances of Stephen Kelly and Jordan Obita as being instrumental in nullifying his Wolves side and ensuring that Reading extended their run to four games unbeaten.

The victory for Steve Clarke’s men handed Wolves their first loss in nine, while the Royals have only conceded twice since last month’s late away defeat at Fulham.

Speaking to his club’s official website, Jackett said: “Reading have good players and they defended very well. When we did get it to our wide men their full-backs defended well and got bodies around them and made it tough to go past the in one-v-one situations.”

Goals from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny Williams secured the victory for Reading, and Jackett was keen to identify the threat the Royals also posed going forward.

“Their centre forward [Pogrebnyak] is a very good player and they are getting the most out of him at the moment in terms of a platform to run forward for the likes of Robson-Kanu to show their quality and pace.”

The Russian striker will be looking to add to his tally of four goals this season when Leeds visit the Madejski, while 22-year-old centre-back Michael Hector will look to continue impressing.

When asked about Hector's recent form, Clarke said he was keen to keep the youngster's feet on the ground: “Michael’s been doing well. He’s a young boy with a big future. He’s got good experience beside him, with Stephen Kelly on the right and Alex Pearce on the left, who are looking after him, but Michael has been terrific. Our job is to keep him focused and keep him grounded.”

Clarke took the opportunity to praise other members of the defensive unit as his side moved up to 13th in the Championship, with a win over Leeds potentially lifting the club as high as ninth.

“Kelly is an experienced Irish international. He knows the game inside out,” he said. “And Jordan Obita is a player who started as a winger and is slowly becoming a really good full-back. Wolves were a good test for my defenders, and we showed good resolve. We’re trying to build something here. The first thing was to stabilise and make us harder to beat. Our recent record shows that we’ve done that.

"I can feel a good confidence in the group but we have to make sure that we don’t get carried away,” he said. “We have to make sure that we keep building and the only way to do that is from game-to-game.

"Leeds is a big game which will bring a good crowd. I am sure our supporters will be there in numbers to get behind us and keep this little run going. I’m hoping that everyone is enjoying what they are seeing at the moment. They can see that the players are giving 100% for Reading Football Club.”

Tickets for the home game with Leeds United on Tuesday night are on sale now. To buy call 0118 968 1313, visit Reading FC Direct or head to the ticket office in person.

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