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Team news: Reading v City

29 September 2017

Striker Nelson Oliveira will be part of City’s Sky Bet Championship squad for the trip to Reading but isn’t ready for the starting line-up.

Oliveira came on as a late substitute in the win over Middlesbrough after a spell on the sidelines due to a groin injury, but hasn’t fully recovered.

“Nelson didn’t feel comfortable in training this morning,” Daniel Farke told the media on Friday afternoon. “He will travel with us but he won’t be in the starting line-up. Although he’s not 100%, he can create something special in 15 minutes and he’s a good option to have on the bench.

“We’ll try to use the two weeks of the international break to try and get him back to 100% fitness and to work out exactly what the problems are with his groin. I’m sad for him that he’s not in the Portugal squad but it’s important for him now to fully recover.”

Mario Vrancic is still struggling with a calf injury he suffered against Bristol City, and although he will travel with the team to Reading a late decision will be made on his availability. Marco Stiepermann, who also came on as a late substitute against Middlesbrough, has been ruled out after failing to recover from a groin problem.

“Marco’s still got problems and hasn’t improved,” Farke said. “It probably didn’t help we had him on the pitch at Boro, but we needed him out there at the end. He’s got a bit of pain and we don’t want to risk him for this match.”

Tom Trybull, who received lengthy treatment during the win over Middlesbrough, is available for the trip to Madejski Stadium. “Trybull got hit in the first half and was in some pain and couldn’t walk after the game,” said Farke. “But the last two days have helped. He’s not 100% and he still feels some pain, but he’s a fighter and will be fine for tomorrow.”

Josh Murphy will also return to the squad after he was dropped for the Middlesbrough match. “We had a situation where Josh was not professional in his preparation for the Boro game and I did without him,” Farke said. “It’s a shame because he has such great ability, and brings so much. You have to be 100% professional and disciplined to be able to represent this great Club. When I get the feeling there’s a player who doesn’t give 100% I will do without him in every situation.

“We’ve spoke about it on Wednesday and he apologised in front of the group. Now he has to show on the training pitch and in the dressing room what it means to be a professional football – but I think he really learned the message. We’re human beings and we make mistakes, so it’s important to be honest because he’s a good character and he’s so important for the future.

“I believe he’s learned the message, and it’s done now and I’m very happy to have him in the squad for tomorrow.”

Club captain Russell Martin is struggling with a back injury, while Steven Naismith is awaiting a scan on an ankle strain suffered in training on Wednesday.

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