Manager on squad selection for SaturdayLiam Moore is back in contention to face Sheffield Wednesday this weekend after serving his one-match suspension – but Danny Williams will begin his three-game ban following a dismissal against Fulham.
“We’ve had quite a bit of suspensions and injuries, so sometimes we have to be creative in what we do and how we play at certain times – and to look at our team and decide what’s best for us on the day,” explained our gaffer Jaap Stam.
“We look at the opposition as well and try to work out how we can make it difficult for them – we have quality in this team, and if someone steps out then the person who steps in needs to do the same job.
“It’s not always easy for that player, but they need to do it – everybody knows that and everybody is willing to work hard for each other to get results, and especially after a result like the one we had last Saturday.”
Some of the longer-term injuries are still working towards their return, but are unlikely to feature this weekend. Goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola is making progress on his return but Yann Kermorgant, John Swift, Deniss Rakels and Stephen Quinn will all be absent.
“Yann Kermorgant is going to be back in training again this week – that’s good news for us,” said Stam. “He is a lot fitter – he has been working outside a lot and he joined us today for the warm-up, but he’s not joining us in the full group session just yet. He’ll hopefully be back in with us on the Friday, but Saturday’s game is probably too early for him.
“Deniss is still out – we can’t put an exact timeframe on it because of the type of injury he had – it was a terrible injury and it takes its time. It’ll probably be January before he joins the group session. The same with John Swift and his ankle – he’s going to be out for quite a while.
“We’re looking week to week with Stephen Quinn – he felt a lot better this week and hopefully he can progress that by doing more work outside and in the gym, and working towards the group sessions. He has been out for quite a long time now so he’ll need to get fit before he can join the squad.”
It’s not just Reading that go in with players absent – Fernando Forestieri was dismissed last weekend for the Owls and will thus be unavailable for Carlos Carvalhal’s selection.
But the gaffer knows that the Reading defence will have to be up to the challenge of whoever comes in to start for Wednesday this Saturday.
“Forestieri has been very important for them – he has done very well and he has certain qualities that he can make it difficult for every defence,” continued Stam. “He’s out this weekend – you could say that could be good for us, but if you look at their squad, they have a lot of quality players within it.
“They have invested money in bringing players in so every player that plays in attack for them will be a handful and difficult to defend against well. We’ve got the qualities to do it – we’ll be focused on that and in doing it well.”