Royals boss on injuries, the Owls and our new faces...
Royals boss Brian McDermott has his focus firmly pointed at a win over Wednesday this weekend after a welcome return to winning ways in five star style in the FA Cup earlier in the week.
"We showed great character and good quality against Huddersfield earlier in the week," he said ahead of this weekend's Madejski Stadium clash against an in-form Owls outfit. "It can be difficult playing against ten men, but this team didn’t struggle.
"We’re always in every single game, even when we were 2-0 down - and the crowd know that here. There wasn’t a big crowd in on Tuesday night, but they made an awful lot of noise – especially when we scored the late goals.
"So we were delighted with that result, delighted to get through to the next round and now it’s all about Sheffield Wednesday. The players have been buoyant after scoring five goals and now we want three points this weekend."
Carlos Carvahal's side have not dropped a point in 2016 and, as a result, have edged their way into a top six spot with some fine form home and away that has seen Wednesday win six of their last seven.
"Every game is a tough game in this division. It's a cliche but there are no easy games. That’s the great thing about football in this country, you can see how tight each and every game is.
"I've been in charge of eight games now and arguably we could have come away with a win from all of them, that's how fine the margins are. So it’s important we do the right things, play the right type of football and let’s hope we can get the right result on Saturday.
"The manager there has done a really good job in a short space of time and you have to admire the work he’s done at Wednesday. They’re a club who are really keen to get into the Premier League, as everyone is in this division, they’ve spent good money...so it’s going to be a really good game and we have to make sure we’re on the right side of the result.
"The scouts have been out watching them play, the analysis staff have gone through how they set up, I watched them yesterday and put a training session together with that in mind for today. We’ll do our stuff today on the training pitch and give it everything we've got tomorrow."
The injury list might be looking a little more positive for McDermott and with two new signings made this week, the Royals boss may have a few more options available to him head of Saturday and in the coming weeks.
"Jordan Obita played an hour in a game on Tuesday afternoon and came through training on Thursday, Michael Hector trained on Thursday for the first time in a while, Garath McCleary we're not sure on yet, but Paolo Hurtado, Paul McShane and Aaron Tshibola are still not quite ready - Paul trained a little bit on Thursday and Tish is in light training still.
"As do our new signings this week, they will add quality. Yann adds real experience and goals," McDermott continued. "I had a good chat with Yann when he signed late on Wednesday night, he’s a fit man, he’s strong, he scores, he can link the play up, he’s very good in the air in both boxes, he's a fabulous set piece taker and he’s got a really good record in this country.
"He’s also a really good character. I always believe your team, your club is only as good as your experienced players. If you’ve got good characters the younger players can look up, I think that’s vitally important. And I think we’ve got that in in our dressing room now, characters our young players can look up to, both on and off the pitch.
"George was brought up at Manchester City and he’s got a great pedigree. He’s gone out on loan and got 50 odd games under his belt. We think he’s going to develop into a really strong player for us - he’s 6’2”, he can pass it, he can tackle, he can score goals. There’s a lot to like about him. So I’m pleased they both decided to join us and I’m certainly looking forward to working with them."