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Blackman lauds ‘quality and calibre’ of Royals squad

18 October 2015

Forward reflects on Charlton victory

Royals forward Nick Blackman was full of praise for his fellow squad-mates following a well-earned 1-0 victory against Charlton Athletic.

Blackman scored the game’s only goal with quarter of an hour to spare – taking his tally to ten for the season – and he was pleased to play a part in the team’s success.

“The team doing well overall is the most important thing,” he explained.  “All of the players are playing with real confidence and we have managed to grind out a great result.

“It’s looking good at the moment.  Everyone is working really hard on the training ground.  We’re not getting complacent – we’re just going about our business and taking each game as it comes.

“The squad is fantastic.  We’ve made a couple of changes and you can see the quality and calibre of player that was on the bench today – Danny Williams and Garath McCleary came off the bench and it was fantastic to see and it only gives confidence to the rest of the boys that are already on the field, when players that good are coming on.

“We want to get promoted – that’s what we want within the changing room, and we’re going to go about our business and try and be up there at the end of the season.  Everyone is contributing.”

The result against the Addicks took Reading onto a spell of six wins from seven fixtures.  Blackman, who now has nine goals in his last nine appearances, gave a nod to teammate Lucas Piazon who provided the assist with a delightfully-weighted cross.

“We have fantastic forward players,” Nick continued.  “We didn’t even have Matej Vydra in the squad today, so we’ve got him to come back in which is going to be another massive boost when we see someone like that coming into the squad.

“Everyone is enjoying playing with everyone, and you can see the quality of some of the link-up play we have got when we go forward.  It’s frightening sometimes.

“Lucas is fantastic.  He has got great natural ability and talent, and he is a great guy within the dressing room which is important as well.  And he has got the quality to score and assist, as he did today.”

Despite the influx of summer arrivals, manager Steve Clarke has always kept faith in Nick Blackman as being part of his team – the striker has featured in every single game so far this season and is pleased to have been given a chance to get into his stride.

“I have always had belief in myself and belief in my ability, but I think I’m being given a run of games by the manager and so I’ve been able to pick up a bit of form,” explained Blackman.

“The main thing is playing every week.  You can’t get into any sort of form when you’re coming off the bench for 20 minutes here and there, or if you’re playing as a rigid right-winger.  I did that for the team with no problem, and I always worked as hard as I could, but I don’t think it was my best position.

“The manager is playing me in a bit more of a forward role and giving me a run of games.  I’m a forward and he wants me to play as a forward, but I’ve got my defensive duties as well, as has everyone.”

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