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"We need to be very tight at the back, we're working on that" - Mannone

Reading's #1 looks ahead to Hull City test

11 January 2018

Vito Mannone says he hopes to bring three points back from Humberside on Saturday afternoon, as the Royals take on his former side, Hull City.

Mannone got his first consistent taste of senior football while with the Tigers as a youngster, and he had kind words to say about his time there. 

On his former club, he said: "I've spent a couple of years there on my journey, it was two loan spells while I was at Arsenal. It was two good years where I got my experience and I remember good times.

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"It was a good experience, playing games, a nice club and nice fans so it was a very nice experience in my life."

Attention quickly turned to Saturday, though, and the need to bring three points back from the KCOM at the weekend.

The Tigers' performances have picked up under former Royals' boss, Nigel Adkins, and Mannone is aware of the unpredictability of playing Championship football.

"It's a tough challenge," he added. "It's a strange league this year. You see most of the teams who started  in the league have wanted a different achievement and Hull was one of them.

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"They're definitely a Premier League club (in size), very similar to us I believe and they want exactly the same as us. 

"Unfortunately we find ourselves down there, and we want the three points, which is a tough challenge as the KCOM Stadium is a tough place to go to."

The teams drew 1-1 in the reverse at Madejski Stadium back in September, Jón Daði Böðvarsson with the late equaliser on the day.

Hull have had a topsy-turvy season themselves, scoring plenty of goals but seemingly unable to see many results through this season, leaving them hovering above the relegation places.

Mannone knows about the Tigers' attacking threats, and he says the Royals' defensive line will have to be on their toes at the weekend.

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"We know when we played them in the first part of the season that they carry a lot of threats like Fraizer Campbell, (Jarrod) Bowen, players who can make the difference up top.

"We need to be very tight at the back, we're working on that every day. We aim for clean sheets, unfortunately sometimes it doesn't happen so we've got to tighten up a little bit and be more resilient in front of our goal.

"We've got a period of games where we're playing one game a week and not twice a week, so we've got time to work with the gaffer and work as a team, as a unit.

"We've got to improve, we know that. Hopefully we will start from Saturday."

Tickets are still on sale for Saturday's trip to the KCOM Stadium, click the banner below for further information.

 


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