Ali calling on home backing at Madejski StadiumSupported by 2,000 noisy Royals in the corner of Craven Cottage, Reading got a good result in the first leg against Fulham.
And now back at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday evening, where only one team can book a Wembley trip, goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi is calling on the home support to try and earn a 17th home win of the season in the Championship and claim our place in the final.
“The fans were fantastic at Craven Cottage – they got behind the team and we need them all the way on Tuesday,” said Ali.
“It’ll be tough, of course. But we believe in ourselves and we believe in the way that we want to play, and we believe we can do a job at home.
“Our fans were fantastic and we look forward to seeing them on Tuesday. Hopefully we can make something great together on Tuesday night.”
The Royals had to stay disciplined against a potent Cottagers attack – and they did.
Jordan Obita had Reading ahead but Tom Cairney levelled with a rebound… and it needed a gutsy display of defence to see out the final stages without skipper Paul McShane, who was shown a red card for a high tackle.
“I think we played a good game,” Al-Habsi said. “We know what to expect from Fulham, so were patient and made a fantastic start and kept it going to the end.
“We knew Fulham would push for their equaliser after we went a goal up, but I think the way we performed was fantastic and now we’ll take everything into Tuesday at home.
“We defended well from the start – we kept our shape, we kept focused and we did well against one of the best attacking teams in the league. We looked sharp from the start and we took a good result.
“After the first game, we have to look after ourselves – it’s two days to recover and the big one on Tuesday.
“These aren’t easy games; there is a lot of pressure on the players. But we have handled it really well. Now we’ll work on Tuesday and hopefully get what we want.”
Join the crowd. Be there on Tuesday to get behind the team – it has all been boiling down to this! Click here for ticket information – ST/HST holders and Members with 50+ points can now get up to 4 tickets per person.