The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Shona Duthie

THE Read­ing dress­ing room is cur­rently swarm­ing with in­ter­na­tional stars – and boss Steve Clarke be­lieves he can use the car­rot of Euro 2016 to his ad­van­tage.

As well as the home na­tions be­ing well rep­re­sented in France next sum­mer, Wat­ford loa­nee Matej Vy­dra’s Czech Re­pub­lic have qual­i­fied along with Or­lando Sa’s Por­tu­gal.

Mo­ti­va­tion now for the play­ers, par­tic­u­larly those from North­ern Ire­land and Wales, who have worked so des­per­ately hard to be part of a his­tory-mak­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion cam­paign, is to con­vince their re­spec­tive in­ter­na­tional man­agers their sea­sons should not end with Read­ing in May.

And Clarke, 52, be­lieves that de­sire to be part of some­thing spe­cial in France will en­sure his play­ers are at the top of their game for the next seven months.

“For the group it is good that we have a great squad here,” said the former Chelsea de­fender, who won six caps for Scot­land. “I think it is good if you have in­ter­na­tion­als in your team, it shows you have real strength and depth in your squad.

“I am think­ing Matej Vy­dra wants to be in­volved with the Czech Re­pub­lic, Or­lando Sa wants to be in­volved with Por­tu­gal, so there are plenty of things to go for if they need ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion.

“The fact their coun­try is play­ing in the Eu­ros at the end of the sea­son gives them that mo­ti­va­tion to go out and per­form con­sis­tently for us. If they per­form week in, week out then hope­fully they can have a good sea­son

here and be­yond.”

One of Wales’ his­to­ry­mak­ers Hal Rob­son-Kanu came back from in­ter­na­tional duty with an an­kle in­jury.

But Roy­als boss Clarke does not be­grudge the fact he spent two weeks work­ing with­out half his squad.

“For North­ern Ire­land it is a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment,” he said.

“Olly Nor­wood is rightly very proud of what his coun­try has achieved and I find it incredible that a team in the fifth pot ac­tu­ally won the group. That to me is al­most a foot­balling mir­a­cle.

“The Welsh team is slightly dif­fer­ent. They are a good team. I think ev­ery­one looked at them and thought they could do well.

“They have done that and qual­i­fied com­fort­ably. Hal came back a lit­tle bit down be­cause he has picked up an in­jury which might put him out for a cou­ple of games.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.