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Ali: “We’ll go into Saturday and give everything”

26 April 2017

Al-Habsi on the Royals' clash with his former club Wigan...

Royals stopper Ali Al-Habsi is hoping the Royals can wrap-up a play-off place this weekend when they face his former club Wigan Athletic at Madejski Stadium in the last home game of the Championship season.

The goalkeeper says the squad know what they need from the game and are all determined to get the job done against the struggling Latics, who need three points themselves come Saturday afternoon. 

“This year the position they are in is very difficult,” commented Al-Habsi. “They need two wins to have a chance of staying in the league.

“For us though it is a massive game, I hope it’s not our last home game of the season thinking about the play-offs! We know what we need from the game and we’ll go into Saturday and give everything.

“We know how confident we are when we play at home. We’ve been fantastic all season there and we need to enjoy it. We need to keep our performance levels high.”

Saturday’s opponents Wigan need six points from their final two games to have any chance of avoiding relegation this season, meaning only a win will do at Madejski Stadium for the Lancashire based club.

Al-Habsi, who spent a long spell at Wigan playing Premier League football as well as winning the FA Cup, says he will take no pleasure in relegating his former side if Reading do take the points on Saturday.  

“I spent five years with Wigan and had a fantastic time there,” said the Oman international. “The last year I was with them they were relegated to League One, but they managed to come back.

“To be honest it is sad to see your old club in this difficult situation, but I’m with Reading now and I’ll give everything. I’ve had a very happy two years here and especially this season has been fantastic. Everybody is looking forward now.”

The Oman international captain says the Royals need to start the game against Wigan quickly and positively using the slow start against Rotherham a fortnight ago as a warning for what could come this weekend. 

“We need to be focussed from the beginning of the game,” stressed the keeper. “We had a lesson against Rotherham when we didn’t start the game as we should have. We conceded one goal and it was a difficult game but we managed to turn it around.
“In this situation again we need to start it very strongly because we know Wigan want to take that chance to try and stay in the league they will be desperate to win the game. It could work well for us because they will need to attack to try and win.

“We need to try and take advantage of that,” Ali continued. “We need to play a quick game and use the space they have left for us when attacking.

“We have 15 wins at home from 22 so we have been very good at home. We need to use that going forwards, not just for this game but also for the play-offs if we make it.” 

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