ROYALS HAVE TO UP GAME – DAN
Reading midfielder fears relegation battle
READING midfielder Danny Williams has warned his team-mates that League One – and not Wembley – is their likely destination if they don’t get their act together fast.
The Royals made it three impressive wins on the road in the FA Cup against Championship opposition with a superb 2-1 win at high-flying Derby last Saturday.
But they slipped back to their bad old ways in the league by going down to a shock 1-0 reverse against relegation-haunted Wigan on Tuesday night. The previous Tuesday the Royals had also let home points squirm through their grasp, losing 2-0 against Leeds.
While a clash at team of the tournament Bradford City – from League One – is now all that stands between Reading and a first semi-final place since 1927, Williams is adamant they’ve got to up their level.
Steve Clarke’s side were just seven points above the relegation zone following the midweek defeat by the Latics.
The German-born USA international said: “We have to get our performances straight because if you perform like that against Wigan you will lose against every team, whether it’s a League One team, League Two, Premier League, whatever.
“We must face facts. If we perform like that at home and don’t beat Leeds and Wigan, then we have to fight against relega-
tion. “I think we have to start to realise that. Hopefully we don’t get carried away by the results in the FA Cup because the league is the most important thing and we cannot afford to go down. We have to turn things around.
“Bradford away is a difficult draw, but we have three more games until we play them, so I don’t like to look too far ahead.
“And I don’t think anyone in the dressing room has started thinking about Bradford because we have to sort ourselves out.”
Since Clarke took charge of the Royals shortly before Christmas, they had picked up 12 points from ten games ahead of yesterday’s trip to promotion-hopefuls Ipswich.
It is at the Madejski Stadium where their form has really tailed off, though – Reading have won only two of their last eight home games, failing to score in six of them.
And Williams has ordered his team-mates to dig deep and address their barren home run.
The 25-year-old added: “We prove one week we have the quality to play against good teams in the division and the next week we lack a bit of character.
“We, as players, have to ques- tion ourselves. That is what I do when I go home and every player should, because at the moment the gaffer could switch 11 players next week.”
Last term 44 points was enough to keep Birmingham City in the division, albeit on goal difference at Doncaster’s expense.
And Williams’ team-mate Jordan Obita is not prepared to take any chances.
“I would probably say we need somewhere between 15 and 20 points to make sure we’re safe,” said Obita, with Reading on 37 before the weekend.
“That’s to make sure we’re not anywhere near the relegation zone.”
HOLDING COURT: Danny Williams retains possession for the Royals