Promoted U21s face West Brom at Madejski Stadium; free entry for fansMartin Kuhl hopes that Reading’s U21s can sign off their promotion-winning season with a victory over West Bromwich Albion at Madejski Stadium this evening, 7pm.
The U21s are already assured of their place in Premier League Division One for next term but Kuhl is targeting a tenth win in 12 league games.
That superb run of form began following a 5-0 defeat in tonight’s reverse fixture but, since then. The U21s’ boss says that his players’ mentality has been spot on.
“In your career, you are going to have things that go wrong and after that game the lads have shown a really positive, mental approach,” he said: “That was the first game Steve Clarke saw the U21s play and we got beat 5-0.
“It’s testament to the lads’ mentality that they have turned it around and gone on a seven game winning run without conceding and got promoted. They could easily gone the other way.
“The result could have affected them if they were weak characters and they could have crumbled. They haven’t, they’ve knocked on the door and we’ve had players make the step up to the first team since; Jack Stacey, Niall Keown and Tariqe on the final day.”
He continued: “The next game after West Brom was Arsenal, and the lads were up for it. They were champing at the bit. In training, you could have thrown red meat in there and they would have fought over it.
“The game was called off unfortunately and in the next game we responded really well. The only blip we have had since, was the draw with Bolton. We were superb that night and their manager came over afterwards and was very complimentary.
“We got beat by Blackburn in the Cup, we played all the football but were hit by a couple of suckerpunches; that’s cup football. Again, the mentality has been superb since then.
“We’ve got good technical ability and the game at Derby was another big test because they are a physical side but we came out as winners.”
Entry is FREE for tonight’s clash and Kuhl is expecting the Baggies to provide his promotion winners with a difficult challenge.
He said: “They have got some useful players. They are a strong, competitive side with some technical players. West Brom are on a good little run too; they beat Newcastle the other night, so we are expecting a tough game.
“They are a disciplined team and we’ll have to go about our job as normal. If we relax then we’ll get beat but we’re looking for a response from the Wolves game on Monday night.”