Steve Clarke assesses squad availabilityRoyals boss Steve Clarke gave an update on the team’s availability ahead of Saturday’s clash with Charlton at Madejski Stadium.
Despite missing several key personnel against Middlesbrough, the Royals ran out 2-0 winners and the manager is hoping for more of the same against the Addicks.
“The injured players are coming along slowly,” said Clarke. “I think this weekend we’ll still be without Jonathan Bond, probably without Anton Ferdinand, and Stephen Quinn won’t be ready.
“Matej Vydra will join training on Thursday, which is 48 hours before the game. It’s good that we’ve got him back although it might be a little bit too soon to involve him at the weekend. Hal Robson-Kanu picked up an injury with Wales which makes him doubtful for the weekend.
”Over the course of the season you expect to pick up injuries. We want everybody back and everybody available, but the reality is that at various times you’re going to pick up injuries along the way. We’ve built the squad very well and this year we have a squad that I think can cope with the demands of the Championship.”
During the international break, the players remaining with the Royals have been working hard on the training ground and preparation for tomorrow’s game has been in full swing. With several players away on international duty it gave the manager the opportunity to work with some of the Royals' Development Squad players in first team training.
Last Friday saw Reading travel to West Ham for a behind closed doors friendly at Upton Park; the Royals won 4-3 in an open encounter against the Hammers, delivering a performance and result that pleased Clarke.
“We always get left with enough players to have quality training sessions," he continued. “We can always bring up some boys from Martin Kuhl’s group, the Under-21s. That’s good because it gives them a chance to work with us, it gives me a chance to work with them, and we try and use the time wisely.
“It is good for the future of Reading Football Club that we can bring these boys up, show them how we work at first-team level, and give them an invitation to join us when they’re ready.
“West Ham had a particularly strong team out, as did we. It was a good, open game – unfortunately there was no-one there to witness it other than the coaching staff from both sides! But there was a lot of good stuff from both teams and it was a very worthwhile exercise.”