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OPPOSITION VIEW: READING

27 December 2014

Essential reading on Sunday's opponents

READING

Nickname: The Royals
Manager: Steve Clarke
2013/14: 7th
Ground: Madejski Stadium
Fastest road route from Carrow Road: 165 miles (2 hours utes49 min)

THE LOWDOWN
Reading head into Sunday's game against the Canaries with their only win in the last seven games coming at Carrow Road when they ran out 2-1 victors at the end of November.

The low-point of that run came a fortnight ago when they were thrashed 6-1 by Birmingham City, leading to manager Nigel Adkins being replaced by Steve Clarke.


Clarke's first match ended in a 1-0 home defeat to Watford, before his side surrendered a two-goal lead in the Boxing Day draw at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Royals had seemed set for an important win courtesy of a first half brace from Glenn Murray, but Jake Forster-Caskey pulled one back for the hosts ahead of Inigo Calderon rescuing a point in injury-time.

Reading lead the head-to-head record between the two sides with 27 wins in all competitions, including their win over the Canaries last month.
 
THE BOSS
Steve Clarke was appointed Royals boss on a two-and-a-half year contract less than two weeks ago as a replacement for the outgoing Nigel Adkins.
 
The 51-year-old’s return to football management came almost exactly a year after leaving West Bromwich Albion, having led the Baggies to their highest ever Premier League finish in his only full season in charge.

Such an impressive debut campaign at the helm was followed up by a challenging start to 2013-2014, with Clarke leaving the club in December of last year after a disappointing run of results.


A defender by trade, he began his career at Scottish side St. Mirren in 1982, amassing over 200 appearances before completing a £422,000 switch to Chelsea five years later.

He remained with Chelsea until retiring from playing in 1998, having made 421 appearances for the Blues while picking up medals in the FA Cup, the League Cup and UEFA Cup Winner’s Cup.

Clarke’s first non-playing role saw him work alongside former teammate Ruud Gullit at Newcastle, ahead of later returning to Stamford Bridge to work within the Chelsea youth set-up before being promoted to the assistant manager position under Jose Mourinho.

Further stints as an assistant at both West Ham United and Liverpool followed before he took his first steps into management with West Brom in June 2012.

CLICK HERE FOR READING'S OFFICIAL WEBSITE

THE SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Adam Federici, Mikkel Andersen, Stuart Moore, Daniel Lincoln, Jonathan Henly.

Defenders: Chris Gunter, Stephen Kelly, Anton Ferdinand, Alex Pearce, Michael Hector, Shaun Cummings, Pierce Sweeney, Sean Long, Shane Griffin, Niall Keown, Jake Cooper.

Midfielders: Oliver Norwood, Danny Guthrie, Hal Robson-Kanu, Jordan Obita, Garath McCleary, Hope Apkan, Ryan Edwards, Aaron Tshibola, Jem Karacan (c), Daniel Williams, Jake Taylor, Aaron Kuhl, Jack Stacey, Liam Kelly, Tariqe Fosu, Samuel Fridjonsson.

Forwards: Pavel Pogrebnyak, Simon Cox, Jamie Mackie, Glenn Murray, Nick Blackman, Craig Tanner, Dominic Samuel. 

NEXT AT CARROW ROAD
Cardiff City, Saturday January 17, 3pm

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