Boss looks ahead to SaturdaySteve Clarke says that tomorrow’s final-day fixture at Derby is a good one for his side, with the Rams needing a result to be assured of their play-off place.
Derby, who sit sixth in the Championship, need a point to guarantee themselves of an extended campaign.
Any slip ups could be capitalised upon by Wolves or Brentford and Clarke hopes that the Royals can serve up a repeat of their FA Cup victory in the East Midlands in February.
“It’s a game that’s going to be on television; a full house and there’s going to be a lively atmosphere,” he said. “We go there with a lot of hope and with positive thoughts.
“Derby have scored a lot of goals recently. They’ve scored 11 in their last three game but have also conceded seven, so that gives us some hope.
“If you’ve been to a place before, in front of a hostile crowd, and had a positive result like we did at the cup, in can help. Derby lost a man quite early to a red card, though, so I don’t the actual game itself will have too much of a bearing on Saturday.”
He continued: “When we get to the summer, there is a lot of work to be done but before we get there we have to prepare the team well for Derby.
“By and large, we prepare the team well for every game and Saturday will be no different. We may need a bit of luck, something we haven’t had much of in recent games.
“A lot of things have gone against us. We’ve missed a lot of chances, we’ve had a lot of goalscoring opportunities and maybe lady lucky will be on our side on Saturday.
“It would be nice to have a tiny ray of sunshine for the supporters and the players as well. The fans are suffering with the results but so are the players.”
In terms of results, the Royals’ league form has slipped of late and tomorrow’s clash will see the club conclude 2014/15 with their ninth game in 28 days.
Clarke said: “It’s been a tough schedule. We’ve had a lot of games recently and a lot of games that have ended with a bit of disappointment.
“Our form in the latter part of the second half of the season hasn’t been where we wanted it to be. A lot of our performances have been decent, people who have been at the games will tell you that.
“There has been a lot of good stuff on show but we’ve been missing goals – something the team has struggled with all season. We’ll look to try and finish the season on a more positive note tomorrow.”