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Emi | "We've got 11 finals left"

Goalie looks ahead to latest crucial Championship clash

8 March 2019

Emi Martínez spoke of the 'massive' importance of earning all three points at home to Wigan Athletic this weekend.

The goalkeeper was instrumental in the Royals' away win at Ipswich last time out, with a succession of saves that made Reading supporters vote him as their Man of the Match on social media.

There's now a chance to follow that up with three points at home this weekend - an opportunity that the Royals can ill afford to miss, according to the Arsenal loanee.

His involvement is not confirmed for Saturday as yet, though, as a calf strain sustained at Portman Road last weekend has been monitored at Hogwood this week, according to boss José Gomes.

"It's massive - we've not been able to get back-to-back wins yet," Martínez said. "We beat Blackburn at home then, three days later, we travelled all the way to Sheffield United again and we were 1-0 down after 40 seconds. The week before we travelled to Sheffield Wednesday too, the lads were tired.

"But now we've got the away win and we've had the whole week to prepare for this game. We have the opportunity now to beat Wigan, so it's massively important to everyone to focus and get three points, not just one.

"We've been talking the whole week about being able to go above them, every single player. Everyone is focussed to get the three points. The more focussed everyone is, the more likely it is we're going to get them.

"I know they like to play wide and get crosses in, technically they're quite good, they keep the ball well in midfield, but we've got talented players. We can play from the back, hit them from wide as well and we've got really quick players, we know what we have to do to beat them."

Reading go into Saturday's match after losing just once in seven matches, climbing out of the bottom three on goal difference in the process.

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Even though teams around the Royals have been picking up points on a regular basis as well, Martínez emphasised the importance of keeping the good run going at Madejski Stadium this weekend, keeping the pressure on those above.

"I would say we have our best momentum of the season," the goalkeeper declared. "In seven games, we've only lost one, we have good momentum and it's really important to have that. We've not had back-to-back wins this season, it's massively important that we get them. 

"We've got a chance to really move up, but we have to take it step by step, because in three days we'll have another final. It's like that, we've got 11 finals left.

"This league is very difficult. In Wigan, they've not been doing well but we'll turn up on Saturday and the game is going to be hard. 

"You could say that we beat Ipswich, the bottom team, but that was maybe their last real chance to survive. Mathematically they're not down yet but it'll be very difficult for them to stay up now. In this league, anything can happen and we need to focus on Wigan, that's our next final."

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Wigan Athletic
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Wigan Athletic

Saturday 9th March, 3pm (Madejski Stadium)

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