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Clarke emphasises fans' importance

16 January 2015

Large away following can play their part

Steve Clarke expects Fulham to provide his side with a stern test when the Royals visit Craven Cottage in the Championship tomorrow.

Reading, who picked up a 3-0 win over the Londoners earlier in the season, will be backed by a sold out away end for the game.

And Clarke says the fans can play a big part, as the Royals bid to do the double over Kit Symons’ rejuvenated side. 

He said: “It’s good that the fans are coming in numbers. I’ve spoken about the supporters before and I get the feeling that, in the last few home games, they have recognised when their team has needed their help.

“They have got their volume right up and got right behind the team. I know the away support going down to Craven Cottage at the weekend is a big one and we look forward to giving them plenty to shout about.”

Fulham began the season with a disappointing run of results but have had an upturn in form since Kit Symons took over from Felix Magath.

“I’m surprised where Fulham are in the league, considering the squad they have got. They have come down from the Premier League and I’m sure they expected to be higher up the division than they are.

“They made the decision to put Kit in as caretaker manager and he did a fantastic job. That gave the club no other choice than to give him the job full time, and he deserves it.

“In recent weeks they have shown that they are a good team and have started to pick up results. They had a good victory in midweek, albeit on penalties, against Wolves and we expect a difficult game.

“They have top players, a good way of playing and players that have proved that they can play at the highest level, as well as some good young boys coming through. There is a good mix.

“We’ll have to be ready for that and I think we are. We have done a lot of working on the training ground and I think we are good to go.

“I’m sure that Fulham are disappointed where they are and it’s our job to make sure they still are on Saturday evening.”

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