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Hal hoping for cup passage at second time of asking

10 January 2016

Forward reflects on FA Cup draw in Huddersfield

It looked like Hal Robson-Kanu’s late strike would book Reading’s FA Cup fourth round place at Huddersfield’s expense – only for a stoppage-time penalty by Nahki Wells to earn the hosts a replay.

The game was set to be a turnaround victory – Jamie Paterson’s towering header had the Terriers ahead, but Matej Vydra struck the equaliser before the Welshman’s well-taken goal with 87 minutes on the clock.

“That’s the magic of the FA Cup – we thought we were onto the next round, but we’re in the hat which is important,” reflected Hal.  “We’ll look forward now.

“That’s football – we have to learn and we have to be tighter.  We conceded two goals today – if we keep a clean sheet, we go through comfortably.  That’s what we’re working on and the gaffer is implementing it, so hopefully we can continue to progress.

“It’s always good to come from behind, but as I said – we’re working on keeping clean sheets and once we implement that we’ll be a very competitive team.

“We’re in the hat, which is what it’s about.  We’ll be ready for the replay when it comes – and hopefully we can get into the next round proper.”

Hal’s goal was his first of the season, after spending a lengthy spell on the sidelines earlier in the campaign.  Goalkeeper Joe Murphy had denied him with an acrobatic save, but was eventually beaten when sub Lucas Piazon cut back for the forward.

While his name hasn’t been on the scoresheet so often, he has picked up plenty of assists for his teammates.  His goal at John Smith’s Stadium was a just reward for another tireless shift.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of goals – I think I’ve assisted five in the league, and so it’s not always about scoring,” said Hal.

“It’s nice to get on the scoresheet – but it’s a team game.  Me and Matej got the goals today and hopefully we can get many more.”

Typically, there is little in the way of let-up in the busy Reading schedule.  Tuesday night beckons, and a visit to the iPro Stadium to take on high-flyers Derby County.

Hal continued: “The focus is now onto Derby – it’s an important game for us and we want to be competitive in the league, so we have to compete in these games.

“The fans again were terrific tonight – we had great support, so hopefully we will have good support going to Derby again.

“The fans have been fantastic – they always support the lads.  We gave them some entertainment today and hopefully we’ll give them some wins in future.”

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