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Clarke On Yakubu, Derby County And The FA Cup Quarter Finals

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Steve Clarke was understandably delighted yesterday, firstly with our fantastic 2-1 win at Derby, but secondly with new signing Yakubu’s first goal for the club to send us through to the Quarter Finals of the FA Cup.

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Yakubu has only played 38 minutes, and finished superbly to put us through to the Quarter Finals for the fourth time in our history, the third in the last six years. Hal Robson Kanu put us ahead before Darren Bent equalised with a lucky goal.

Clarke told www.readingfc.co.uk

"We knew what we were getting when we signed him, Yak’s a goalscorer and we brought him in for games like that, when it’s open and you know you’re going to create chances towards the end.

"It was a great pass from Hal, who also took his goal very well. You expect Yak to hit the target there, 9 times out of 10 he scores and thankfully us today was one of the 9!

"The goal was exactly why I put him on! He came on midweek, got a good introduction to the Championship when he took an elbow to the face and broke his nose! But we fixed him up and he still looks gorgeous! It’s not a surprise when he scores in that situation."

The team display was very different to the team that lost to Leeds midweek. With the team creating chances, Clarke was disappointed to go in level at half time.

"We created three excellent chances first half, had a big penalty shout. We’ve had a jinx recently played against ten men, so we spoke at half time about doing it properly against a Derby side we know would still cause us problems."

Although the Royals are one game away from Wembley, Clarke is not getting too carried away, but is happy to face anybody in the next round. "We’d take anybody next- home or away. We look forward to the draw, but the game is three weeks away."

With difficulties for fans getting up to Derby, Clarke praised the fans, telling GetReading:

"I’m pleased for the supporters. They had a long and difficult journey up so I’m happy we could get the win for them."

Clarke is now focused on the league with important games against Wigan and Ipswich coming up in the next seven days. He said:

"There’s still work to do in the Championship, we’re seven points off the bottom and we need to secure our position.

"The play-offs look too far, so we've given the supporters a run to the quarter final and it would be nice to go further."

Yes, it would be nice to go further. Can we start dreaming of Wembley now?

The FA Cup Quarter Final Draw is at 7:35pm on Monday. Watch out for ball number 7!!!