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Clarke delighted after super win

31 January 2015

Boss hails his victorious Royals

Royals boss Steve Clarke was delighted with his team after they put in a very good performance to see off Sheffield Wednesday 2-0.

The Owls came to Madejski Stadium having only lost two away games all season, but we saw them off in the first half with an excellent display.

It could well have been more, with Garath McCleary having a goal wrongly ruled out for offside, while Hal Robson-Kanu also saw a penalty saved.

Clarke told Reading FC Player, "There haven't been too many wins this season for the Reading fans to go home and enjoy, so I hope they enjoyed that one.

"I thought the team was good first half, we played a lot of good stuff and created some really good chances. If anything, 2-0 at half time didn’t do us justice. We should have been a little bit further ahead.

"Start of the second half for some reason the assistant referee saw an offside that wasn’t even close, a great finish from Garath that was denied us. Then we missed a penalty which was a blow and would have made it a much more comfortable end to the game.

"But, you have to say, having missed a penalty we showed a great resolve to see the game out at 2-0. We didn’t concede, we didn’t give an inch of ground, we stood there and fought toe to toe with Sheffield Wednesday and got a really good shape which gave us a 2-0 win."

Our defensive record under Clarke is excellent, with four clean sheets in the last six games, and our win over the Owls saw us strike an excellent balance between attack and defence. Clark commented, "That’s what we spoke about after the game the other night. Like I said before, I’m not long in the building, we’re trying to build things step by step and we can see from within the club that we’re going in the right direction. Hopefully the supporters can see the same."

Clarke made a change in formation, playing two up front in Cox & Pogrebnyak, meaning Oliver Norwood missed out on a starting place. He explained, "I took Nathaniel [Chalobah] off in the midweek game at Millwall to give his legs a little rest. I also took the opportunity today to give Oli Norwood a little rest, he’s played almost every minute, every game and those players have put in a big shift for us.

"If we can rotate them it’s always good to take a midfield player out and give Simon Cox a game today. We have a good squad, you have to use the squad at the right moments and thankfully for me as the manager, the changes worked today and that’s a compliment to all the players in the squad, not just the starting eleven.

"Overall, it's been a good week for us. A win at Cardiff, then a point at Millwall - after that game I said to the players if we can beat Sheffield Wednesday it would make it into a good result, and they went out there and did that."

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