Full-back looks ahead to BirminghamIn the two games since the international weekend, Reading have picked up maximum points – and in doing so had almost twice as much possession as Nottingham Forest and three times as much as Bolton, in addition to firing 49 shots at goal.
Full-back Jordan Obita has been providing ample threat on the left flank during those two outings – a couple of pinpoint crosses from the wing for Yann Kermorgant in midweek weren’t quite converted, either missing narrowly or forcing smart stops from Forest stopper Dorus de Vries.
The defender is enjoying Reading’s attacking impetus in recent weeks and hopes that they can carry that through to another home encounter against Birmingham on Saturday.
He has also been enjoying the competition with Andrew Taylor for the starting jersey – the pair have been tussling to get the nod all year, which Obita believes has helped to bring on his game.
“We have been playing really good football – we’ve been attacking and we have been expressing ourselves,” said Obita.
“My main attribute is to get forward and join in the play – whether that’s passes, crossing or trying to get a shot off. Those are my strengths and in the last two games I’ve been able to use them.
“Yann is probably the best striker I’ve seen at heading a ball – I know that if I get the ball over the first and second man, he’ll win the ball. In the last couple of games we have been doing that and unfortunately it wasn’t going in the back of the net. But the more times we put the ball in the box, I’m sure he’ll score.
“Stephen Quinn is unbelievable to play with. He always wants the ball and he helps me out defensively. Everyone knows what qualities Ola John has – one-on-one he is one of the best I’ve seen. Everyone wants the ball right now and we’re playing really good football. We’re taking momentum into every game we play.
“Competition is what everyone needs,” he continued. “Previously I didn’t have that, but this season I’ve had competition – if I come out the team, it just gives me more drive to get back in and cement my place.
“Everyone in our team backs each other, whether they are selected to play or not. That’s what we need – no negative stuff.
“I watch Andrew Taylor and how he defends and I try to learn from him. We talk a lot in training too and he tries to help me out.”
Reading have a chance to cut the margin down to two points behind Saturday’s visitors Birmingham if they can secure a win. Despite a dominant display on the season opener at St Andrew’s back in August, the Royals left empty-handed – an Aaron Tshibola effort was wrongly judged to have not crossed the line, and a late penalty was saved by goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak.
“That was a game where a point would probably have been fair,” continued Jordan. “We had a penalty in the last few minutes but we lost. Now that we return to Madejski we want to win the game because we felt that it didn’t go our way at the start of the season.
“Hopefully we can take the form that we’ve been playing with in the last two games and we’ll get the three points again.
“Every game is tough. But when we are at home we are probably the more attacking team in any game that we play and with the form that we’re in and the energy we’re playing with, we can match up.”
With seven games remaining, the team have a target of picking up as many maximums as possible from the points on offer.
That run-in sees Reading take on some of the promotion-contenders – including Middlesbrough and Hull – but Jordan feels they should fear no-one.
“We have a target of trying to win every single game we have left. With the form that we have, I’m confident that we can do that. We need to try and push towards the top half of the table.
“We have some tough games coming up against teams that are fighting for promotion. We want to try and ruin that for them because we want to try and be close to the play-off area. It’s unlikely that we’ll be in it but it’s nice to be around there; you want to finish the season off strong.”