Safety is all but secured – only a freak set of results on the final two weekends would drag the Royals back into the relegation places, following last weekend’s goalless draw at home against West Bromwich Albion. But stranger things have happened in football, which is why goalkeeper Emi Martínez is keen to put any doubts to bed on Saturday.
The Royals travel to the Riverside to take on a Middlesbrough side which are chasing promotion – but confident of keeping that points tally moving forward. Regardless of any other results, one more point would be enough.
“After the game, we saw that Rotherham had lost and we could celebrate – but we got the feeling that it’s not over yet,” Martínez said.
“Anything can happen in football – the odds are in our favour but we have to go to Middlesbrough and do our job.
“I was disappointed after the West Brom game because I thought we played really well and should have won the game. But now we have to do our job against Middlesbrough, and then finish strong at home against Birmingham.
“As a goalkeeper, it is always good to keep a clean sheet. We knew that Rotherham were winning at half-time, so I wanted to make sure that we didn’t concede; we knew that a point against West Brom would be valuable.
“Middlesbrough are a good side, looking to make the play-offs – and they want to beat us to make it. But we have to look at ourselves and how we’re doing away from home against good sides like Norwich and Bristol City, and do the same kinds of things against Middlesbrough.
“We won’t be easy to break through and we’ll go in with confidence. Hopefully we can finish the season without any more losses.
“I’m a winner – I don’t want to lose, or even draw. I want to keep clean sheets and hopefully we can get as many points as possible in the last two games.”
As things stands, Martínez is approaching his last two games as a Reading player.
And like all of the loanees who joined in January, his commitment to the cause has been unwavering.
“When I signed here, I knew it would be a challenge,” he continued. “I didn’t know how the dressing room was – I knew some of the players, but not how the team was in the position of being in the bottom three.
“So it surprised me the way that everyone treats the players, the support of the fans, and the way it is like a family here. Whatever happens in the future, I will always be grateful.
“When you go out on loan from a big club like Arsenal, it can be difficult to find a club that suits you. I think Reading really suits me.
“All of the loanees have been really determined to win every game. It’s good for everyone – for the club, for the fans and for those players.
“The way that the fans were cheering our names against West Brom was incredible. Hopefully the last game of the season against Birmingham will be like that as well.”