Steve Clarke provides a fitness updateHaving been taking part in pre-season training with his previous club in Qatar, new signing Yakubu could be in contention to make his Royals debut in the coming games.
Speaking at his weekly pre-match press conference, manager Steve Clarke revealed that the experienced striker was working on his fitness prior to his arrival in Berkshire on Monday’s transfer deadline day.
“He’s had a bit of football lately in the form of friendly matches,” Clarke said. “He’s come in a done some training with us and looks in decent shape. I don’t think it will take too long to get him up to speed and hopefully he can give us that little bit extra that we’re looking for.
“I’ve been looking at our games recently where we’ve had a lot of possession in forward areas and couldn’t find the killer touch. Until Monday, you’re searching the world markets for someone that can do that and then suddenly I got a call saying Yakubu was available.
“The most important thing for us, is that we get him quickly integrated into the group and that he starts to make a contribution to us as soon as possible.”
Clarke traveled to Huddersfield on Tuesday afternoon to watch the club’s U21 side book their place in the semi-finals of the Premier League Cup.
The game also gave a number of first-team players the opportunity to take part in a competitive game.
Clarke said: “Jake Cooper needed a game, which he got up at Huddersfield. Jure Travner got a game and Hope Akpan got 120 minutes, which is a credit to his rehabilitation. It shows how hard he had been working to make his comeback. Jem also got another 45 minutes.”
The manager also provided an update on the fitness of Danny Guthrie, Anton Ferdinand and Chris Gunter.
“We’re hopeful that Danny can take part in some of the training, but I’m not sure he’ll be in full training,” he said. “But it shows that he’s on the way back, which is good.
“Anton and Chris Gunter won’t be available this weekend but, apart from those three, we look in decent shape.”