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Clarke: We thank Feds today

10 January 2015

Boss' praise for keeper

Royals boss Steve Clarke thanked goalkeeper Adam Federici for his key role in earning us a point against Middlesbrough.

Feds made one incredible save from Patrick Bamford, and also pulled off a string of stops to earn the man of the match award and keep the game at 0-0.

We therefore picked up a valuable draw against the fourth-placed side in the Championship, and Clarke told the press, "I said to the players that we thank Adam for the point today.

"Next week it might be another player, today it's him.

"He made one unbelievable save from Bamford, it was well hit and it was a top class save.

"He's a very safe, solid goalkeeper. He doesn't make those nervy moments any more nervy and hardly anything comes back off him.

"I knew when I came in I was getting a good goalkeeper and I've been very pleased with him."

The boss was satisfied to earn a draw, commenting, "I'm pleased with the point against a good Middlesbrough side. Good, tough well-organised and difficult to play against.

"They play a problematic system, almost with four forwards at times. They get the ball forward to those forwards early and they make it difficult for you, I think they're the best side we've seen in my time so far.

"I thought first half we maybe showed them too much respect. We weren't aggressive enough or showing enough quality.

"I think the players were conscious we've done a lot of work on our defending, they just forgot about playing the other way! I was pleased to go in at 0-0, we had a chat and the second half was much better.

"We responded well, first half we had maybe one shot, second half six or seven."

Jem Karacan was back after 479 days out, and Steve said, "It's great for him to be back. I was thinking about the third sub, and bringing Jem on gave the place a real lift.

"The fans had really been helping us in the second half, we were having a go and then Jem's come on as well. It's a real positive to have him back."

He continued, "It's great to have options. Pav worked hard after six weeks out, I felt a bit sorry for him because he didn't have much service. I took him off a little bit earlier than maybe I should have done, I was just wary he might pick something up after being out.

"Overall, I think you can see the team are trying hard to put into practice what we do in training, but there's more to do. Slowly we try to improve and try to make the club more successful."

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