Writer: Mike Field
Date:Friday February 22 2008
Martin O'Neill has said that Reading is a massive game for us and that he'll be disappointed if we don't take all 3 points.
In O'Neill's usual style of playing up a game but giving excuses and moving the focus onto the opposition, he is again praising Steve Coppell and has said Reading will avoid the drop, despite their current form.
Speaking on the official site, the wee one said:
'It's easy for me to say this from a distance, but I've got no concerns about Reading, simply because of the man in charge.
'What he's done there has been phenomenal. You would have to say that he is doing it with what looks like less investment than anybody else and the achievements in the last couple of years are just absolutely terrific.
'Whatever you say about Reading, this season they've beaten Liverpool at the Madejski Stadium. They might not be in the best run in the world, but neither were Fulham.'
And therein lies the rub, our loss to Fulham was unexpected and if we expect to make this season a success and gain a European place we cannot afford to drop anymore points. With the greatest of respect, we should not be losing points to the likes of Fulham nor Reading.
'This is a big Premier League game for us and if we've got any designs on trying to stabilise our own position and trying to shift on in the last 12 games of the season, we've really got to focus ourselves.
'I was delighted with the second-half against Newcastle, that was terrific. Now we've got to build on that and this is a really big game for us - no doubt about it.'
Like so many games this season, we need to play for 90 minutes though, not just 45. Anything short of three points will be a disappointment.
Date:Friday February 22 2008
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