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McCleary: “A performance we can build on”

8 March 2017

Winger looks back on Newcastle parity

The Royals put in a good display against the league leaders Newcastle United on Tuesday evening – and Garath McCleary felt that the Royals were a little unfortunate to have to settle for just a point.

McCleary hit the woodwork in the dying embers of the game, and also twice went close to beating his former Nottingham Forest teammate Karl Darlow in the Magpies’ goal – only to see shots deflected a matter of inches wide.

But he believes a strong display against a talent-strewn outfit like the Toon sets the Royals up nicely for the final 10 games.

“They’re a very good team,” said Garath.  “They have a lot of players that have played in the Premier League and we had our fair share of chances – if not the better ones. 

“So in that respect we’re unlucky not to win, but we’re glad we didn’t lose and we take on this run we’ve had at home.

“It was a very tough game; they have got some very good players, but we’ll take it into Preston next week.

“So it was good – it was a great performance from all the boys and we’re a bit unlucky not to get the win.

“It’s a performance we can build on, especially at home.  It’s now up to us to change our fortunes away from home.”

McCleary returned to the starting XI to face the Magpies, having sat out the weekend’s win against Wolves in order to spend a little more time on recovery from injury niggles.

And he’s hoping to be fit and firing for upcoming games; Preston North End offer the next challenge this weekend.

“I had to manage the little issues that I’ve got – the gaffer has been really good with me,” he continued.

“I’ve been in the gym all week, and I came into this a bit fresher than I have been.

“The next game comes against Preston – who are in amongst it as well – and then in the coming games we’re playing more teams that are around us.

“It’ll be good to take points from them and keep the position we have in the league.”

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