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McShane: “The shackles are off”

24 October 2016

Skipper confident that 'everything is possible' at the Emirates

Skipper Paul McShane was the matchwinner on Saturday afternoon but his attentions immediately turned to Tuesday night's EFL Cup clash against Arsenal as soon as he was sat back on a bus bound for Berkshire.

"Arsenal hasn’t been mentioned too much as of yet – although everyone obviously wants to go to Tuesday night's game...a fair few people have come out the woodwork for this one so a lot of the lads have been trying to sort out tickets for people! It's not been easy."

The EFL Cup has allowed manager Jaap Stam to utilise his squad to date, but the Royals have beaten League Two, League One and Championship opposition en route to their last sixteen fixture tomorrow night and they are ready to take on a top flight giant.

"The cups have got to be secondary this season," McShane admitted. "We had a good cup run last season, but we fell off the edge of a cliff in the league - and the league is your bread and butter. The league is where you are successful.

"As a player, you want to be playing against big clubs like Arsenal week in, week out in the Premier the league has got to be a priority. But that makes Tuesday night's match a bonus game!

"And it’s not impossible. If you can get a good cup run and win a few games, suddenly you’re in a semi-final and then a final – and if you win a cup, the club talks about it for years and years to come.
"We can play good stuff as we've seen this season – so let’s go and test ourselves against the best. Arsenal are a very good side, obviously… they had won seven on the bounce before the weekend!

"But it will be a good test for everyone. The shackles are off – we’ll go and enjoy the game, and everything is possible."

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