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Reading FC News Bites - 27th February

A summary of the main press stories following the Huddersfield defeat and in the build up to Saturday's match with Nottingham Forest.

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Clarke's thoughts on Huddersfield loss - Reading Official Site

As noted by Sophie earlier this week, the Reading boss touches on a number of topics including team changes, defensive mistakes and taking the time to praise our travelling fans.

Rotation was needed - Reading Chronicle

The Reading Chronicle adds another comment from Steve Clarke about his justification for changing the squad - that the players would 'break down' if the same players were continually used in this run of fixtures.

Norwood: a really poor performance - Reading Official Site

Olly Norwood says we gifted all 3 goals to Huddersfield, we didn't do much in the game and were 'really poor'. He says the squad need to find 'some consistency' and can't keep winning on Saturday and losing on a Tuesday.

Norwood has a slight dig at Steve Clarke - Get Reading

The Reading Post spoke to Olly Norwood about recently losing his place in the starting 11 to the preferred pairing of Danny Williams and Nathaniel Chalobah. He commented 'I can’t really say too much to be honest but yes I’m frustrated'. Accepting he must just get on with it, he says he has lost every game he has played recently which isn't helping his cause. With his impressive start to the season, when asked why he feels he has been left out, he simply said 'You have to ask the gaffer about that...I can't say too much'. Norwood admits time out of the starting line-up is always going to happen in football, and from what he says, it's seems his frustration at being dropped is magnified by the fact that he and others are not seizing their chance when they are chosen to start.

Players call for more noise at home - Reading Official Site

Steve Clarke, Jem Karacan and Jordan Obita all ask for the Reading fans to create more of an atmosphere and really get behind the team for Saturday's game against Nottingham Forest, but all accept that the players need to get off to a good start and lift the fans to spark them into action.

Ady Williams looks at the importance of Pogrebnyak & Cox - Get Reading

Ady Williams believes Steve Clarke made so many changes against Huddersfield purely because he wanted to see what his whole squad are like playing in the Championship, as opposed to reserve or under 21 games. However, he believes it was 'questionable' leaving out the two top goal scorers, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Simon Cox. Without them he 'can't see where the goals are coming from'. He feels that giving Yakubu 90 minutes would have done him 'a world of good', but he's not up to speed for this amount of game time. He also points out that since Steve Clarke's arrival, many fewer goals have been conceded, but we are starting to let in 'soft goals again', and a mid-table finish and appearance in the semi-finals at Wembley would be a great end to the season.

Clarke tells Cox to get scoring - Get Reading

Since scoring seven goals in 19 games at the start of the season, Simon Cox has only scored once since playing Rotherham at the start of November. Simon Cox says his manager has told him to 'address' it. He has told the striker his work rate is good but he needs the goals, and this has hit home with Cox since Clarke told him on Monday that he wouldn't be going to Huddersfield. He has, however, put in very good displays against Derby and Wolves and was unlucky not to get a goal at Derby, and Cox says eventually one of these chances will go in for him. He also stresses that he is adapting to playing with Pavel Pogrebnyak, having formed a decent partnership with Glenn Murray at the start of the season before he went back to Crystal Palace.

Steve Clarke press conference before Forest - Get Reading

Get Reading summarise the key points from Steve Clarke's press conference on Thursday. The manager says that the defence were mentally tired on Tuesday evening having played so many games recently, but that the 'three day recovery' between then and Saturday means they will be back to normal against Forest. Clarke also recognises that the home supporters were angry when the side lost at home to Wigan, but insists that there is no fear about playing at home and that concerns over the state of the pitch aren't valid. He says we went on a good run at home earlier in the season and hints we will do this again. However, he says playing Forest, reborn since Dougie Freedman took over, will be tricky as they are playing a new system which suits their players well. Finally, Steve Clarke says the fuss over the 2022 World Cup moving to the winter is unwarranted as English football bas 7 years to prepare for it, which is a long time to do something to adapt the domestic schedule and incorporate it in a way that isn't too damaging to English football.