Reading may be set to go to Preston North End in search of what would be a huge three points for a relegation-threatened team, but that wasn’t all Paul Clement’s pre-match press conference touched on. The Royals underwent a change in recruitment personnel on Wednesday, with the club confirming that Brian Tevreden would be replaced by Gianluca Nani.
Naturally, the manager was quizzed on the topic, especially given the reports that all is not well behind-the-scenes. He also discussed Tevreden’s impact at Reading and the arrival of Nani, with the following coming from Jonathan Low at Football.London.
On Brian Tevreden
“I enjoyed working with Tevreden - but our owners have more than one club. Brian was getting used more and more on the Belgian club. He was becoming stretched so he chose to take up the challenge of running KSV.
“It’s a great challenge for him and he is still part of the owners’ corportation of clubs.”
On Gianluca Nani
“He has lots of personality and he has a lot of experience. He has domestic experience and also in Italy with Brescia. He helped them push up highly in Serie A. He has a global network of people to work with.”
On ‘cohesion’ at the club
“I don’t get the feeling there is a mess behind the scenes. The owners are supportive and passionate about the club. We are more cohesive than what some people are saying.”
On Danny Loader
Clement was also asked by the press about whether we might see Danny Loader appear for the first team in the coming weeks. The young striker has been banging the goals in for the youth side recently and took home the Premier League 2 Player Of The Month award for August. He’s also impressed on the international scene, grabbing two goals for England’s under-19s in a 4-1 win over the Netherlands.
Although Clement suggested that a chance could arise for Loader, he also seemed to play down the possibility of throwing the 18 year-old straight in.
Clement - It’s possible that Danny Loader is involved with the first team soon. He’s tearing it up at the moment. I told him at the start of the season he needs to be outstanding at U23 level and it’s been a good start. #ReadingFC— Tom Crocker (@TomJCrocker) September 13, 2018
Reading seem to have a never-ending injury list and, although there’s light at the end of the tunnel for some players, it’s bad news for others.
Garath McCleary is “getting much closer” to a first-team return, and is building up minutes with the youth sides to develop his fitness, whilst Callum Harriott is due to feature for the under-23s at Manchester United on Friday. Jordan Obita should be back towards the end of October.
David Meyler has a minor injury worry after international duty with Ireland, although Clement thinks it’s not too serious. There are no problems with any others players who featured for their countries over the last fortnight. However, Adrian Popa has rolled his ankle so is unavailable, whilst Dave Edwards has had a setback to his media collateral ligament (MCL) injury and isn’t yet running.
On Saeid Ezatolahi
The Iran international is fit to play, but has been in Paris finalising a Visa that will allow him to feature for the team. That’s all done and the player will now travel to England, beginning training on Monday.
Clement also suggested that the Iranian could end up staying at the club beyond the end of his loan deal - which expires next summer.
Clement - I hope Ezatolahi has a long future here. But the deal is an initial loan. #ReadingFC— Tom Crocker (@TomJCrocker) September 13, 2018
You can read more from the pre-Preston press conference on Football.London here, and also via Tom Crocker of The Wokingham Paper who appears on our Weekend Preview podcast.
What do you make of what Clement had to say? Let us know in the comments below.