Emiliano Martínez is in line for a Madejski Stadium debut for Reading this weekend – the goalkeeper made his Royals bow away from home in Bolton, but could now feature on Saturday against the Villans.
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And he reflects on his first full week as a Royal, as well as building up to this weekend’s fixture.
“It’s a great group of players,” said Emi. “They have welcomed me really well and I feel at home here.
“The players, management and everyone who works at the club are very friendly. I’m a bit surprised at how well they have treated me here! I’m very pleased.
“I am looking forward to playing in front of our home fans. In this league, it makes a massive difference when you play at your own stadium.
“Aston Villa have a good team. But we have a good team as well, and we’re at home.
“The fans are really important – they need to understand that we’re pushing really hard. We will play from the back whether we’re winning or losing, and everyone needs to support the manager’s ideas.
“What we are going to show is hunger to win – the fans will see that on Saturday.”
His debut in Lancashire on Tuesday was almost rewarded with a clean sheet, but for a galling late leveller by the hosts.
“I thought we played really well in Bolton,” he continued. “We had chances to score in the first half and possibly should have had a penalty for a foul on Nélson. They cleared two off the line and Swifty had a chance with a header.
“We played well and out from the back, and defended well. Hopefully now though we can get the three points at home.
“I felt really comfortable. The manager wants us to play out and I’m comfortable doing that; it’s what I’ve done at Arsenal for many years.
“They were pressing us high, and we were getting out of it. We did well. We can do better. We need to play together a bit more and concentrate in the final stages of the game, or kill it off before that.”
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