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Interviews

Ali | "We believe in ourselves"

21 March 2017

Al Habsi on his Hillsborough heroics, Leeds and the last eight games!

Ali Al Habsi's heroics at Hillsborough were enough to preserve Reading's lead and clean sheet against play-off contenders Sheffield Wednesday last Firday night and the Omani international spoke on his hopes of taking the same 'belief' and 'hunger' into our fianl eight games of the campaign!

"It was fantastic," he began. "A fantastic performance from all the team. And I think we showed our total focus to win this game.

"We knew how important the Sheffield Wednesday game was, especially after the defeat at Preston the previous weekend - so we came here with total concentration and a real desire to win the game.

"And we showed outset, from first minute to the last, thet we are a team who works really, really hard and is capable of producing fantastic performances against the best sides in this division.

"It was a really big three points and fantastic to pick up a clean sheet as well. We promised ourselves after the Preston game that we would come back really quick from that disappointment in a gamed against Sheff Wednesday - a team close to us in the table.

"It was down to teamwork. The most important thing is teamwork. Always as a keeper you are happioer when you get a clean sheet and when you make important saves to help the team. But they worked really, really hard for 90 minutes and as a goalkeeper you have to help them when you can.

"And on Friday night I did. So I'm so pleased with how we won the game and I think we deserved it - especially after we had gone a few games without winning away from home. We needed a performance like this to take into the next eight games.

"We needed to turn it round because we knew it was like a six point game. And we came away with everything, a performance, a clean sheet, the three points and the desire and the hunger to take this into our last eight games of the season."

The Royals face another fellow promotion hopeful in Leeds United at Madejski Stadium after the international break and Al Habsi, who goes away with his country this week to represent his native Oman, has called on the fans and the town to get behind Jaap Stam's side when Garry Monk's men come to RG2 on Saturday 1st April, kick-off 5.30pm.

"Every one of the players have said that we can't let ourselves drop out of the top six at this stage, not after we have so been good throughtout the season so far.

"We believe in ourselves, the gaffer, the way we want to play...everyone believes in it. And a fantastic night like last Friday shows that hunger to succeed we have as a squad.

"But we need to focus over the international break, look after ourselves because we're goign to have another massive, massive game against Leeds in a couple of weeks' time.

"We need everyone for this gane, ourselves as players, the fans, everyone around the club, we need them for this game. We have shown good form at home all season and we need to go and believe in oursleves again, go into that game, enjoy it and do what we did against Sheffield Wednesday.

"The spirit is fantastic. Everyone was playing at 100%, from the strikers, through the midfield, the defence and myself. We did our job and got what we needed. We are a good team, playing good football...and we need to show that for the next eight games."



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