Reading’s recent winning run has been built around a settled starting XI – naturally that has meant the rest of the team have had to be patient when waiting for their chances.
Opportunities could come this weekend when the Royals host Blackpool in the Emirates FA Cup. It’s not a game to be underestimated, against a side going well in Sky Bet League One, but could lay a pathway for a few players who have been on the fringe of starting.
“We’ll have a look at the squad and see who comes out of the Fulham game,” said boss Mark Bowen.
“I’ve got players in this squad who are chomping at the bit, and young players who are eager to get back in the frame. We have a group of players with a fantastic mentality.
“After the workload that they have put in, it is probably a good time to get some young players involved and those lads who have trained hard and who are desperate for game-time.
“So we’ll sit down in the next couple of days and come up with a game-plan to try and make sure we’re in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
“One of the hardest parts about my job, above everything else, is letting players down after they’ve trained hard and worked hard and they’re desperate to play.
“It’s brutal. But they’ll get their chances if they keep working hard and doing the right things.”
Blackpool overcame Morecambe and Maidstone en route to Madejski Stadium, setting up this weekend’s fixture.
The Third Round is always a much-anticipated occasion for all involved – and no different for the Reading boss.
“It’s the FA Cup!” Bowen continued. “So it should get you excited. I’m old fashioned like that – it should get the juices flowing in everybody.
“I appreciate that the fans want a cup run as well, and I’ll try to give them that.”