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“If you work together you can make it hard for every opponent”

8 March 2017

Van den Berg talks over a solid display against Newcastle

Reading midfielder Joey van den Berg was happy with the Royals’ work rate and team ethic as they battled to a draw against league leading Newcastle United on Tuesday evening at Madejski Stadium.

In a tight game both sides struck the woodwork, with Newcastle hitting the upright in the first half, and Garath McCleary hitting the crossbar in the dying moments for the hosts.

“Not just the defence but the whole team did very well against Newcastle,” said the Dutchman. “If you can work together and do everything that is asked of you then you can make it very hard for every opponent.

“I think we can be happy with a point. Of course you always want to win, but if you look at the game I think it is a good point.

“I think if you look at the game they had a good few chances,” continued Van den Berg. “They hit the post as well. We had maybe two or three good chances, but I think we’ll take a point.”

After a few weeks out on the with injury Joey returned to action for the Royals last Saturday in the 2-1 home win over Wolves.

The Dutchman admitted his first game back against Wanderers was a struggle after his spell on the side-lines, but felt much stronger against the Toon yesterday evening as his match fitness gradually returns.

“I’m getting better, the first match back against Wolves was hard,” Van den Berg reflected. “After 70 minutes in that one I was ‘kaput’ as we say in Holland!

“I’m getting fitter, you can only improve your fitness through games. You can train as hard as you want but it’s the games that make you fit. I think I’m getting stronger every week now.

“As a team we broke down their play very well and worked together,” Joey continued. “That’s what we did today, we analysed Newcastle, we knew their strengths so I think we did well. Newcastle are a very good team with very good individual qualities, so I think if you get a draw you can be quite happy.”

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