Manager on FA Cup quarter finalSteve Clarke spoke to a packed press conference at Hogwood Park on Thursday morning ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final with Bradford City.
Watch it in full here on Reading FC Player or highlights on YouTube here.
On a big goal at Bolton Wanderers
“I think psychologically that goal was big for us. We hadn’t scored in a couple of games, we’d had two games, two heavy defeats. For a team of mine to lose six goals in two games is unusual. The nature of the goals against Nottingham Forest were a little bit different, there were two strikes in there that will be goal of the season contenders. The lads were a bit down, a bit upset about their two performances so it was important that we went and got something from the game. The goal coming when it did so late in the game it felt like a winning goal. The dressing room atmosphere was good afterwards, I could sense a bit more belief. The fact they showed the character, resilience and determination to grind out a point was good. We can take that momentum into the future games.”
“I watched them play Sunderland, they were excellent. From the first minute to the last they were excellent. They were better than Sunderland, played much better on the day. Even on a difficult pitch the team that played the most football that day, the team that looked the best footballing team were Bradford. It’s not just about their intensity, grit and determination with them. They have some terrific little footballers who play well on a difficult pitch. We have to match that.”
On questions about the Valley Parade pitch
"No worries whatsoever. We’ll just go there and we’ll play on it."
On scoring goals
"We do get into a lot of goal scoring positions, some games we have created a lot of chances. I just feel in some of the future games coming up, hopefully sooner rather than later – we are going to score a few goals in one of those games. We go up there with 100% confidence. We have a good group of players. We’re not so far away from begin a very good team. I scratch my head a little bit when I look at the table and I think how have these players not got more points on the board in the Championship? It’s a little conundrum for us. But in terms of Bradford are we confident? We think we can go there and win."
On Phil Parkinson
"I know Phil as a manger. His record as a manager is good, wherever he’s been he’s done well. He’s already taken Bradford to a cup final so that tells me that he knows what he’s doing. I look forward to pitting my wits against him."
On the 4,300 Royals fans
"Obviously it was a little bit more difficult for the supporters when the kick off was moved forward but they’ve shown no matter how they get there, they’ll get there. They’re going to get there in time and they’re going to try and enjoy the game. The only way they’ll enjoy the game is if we play well and get a good result."
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