Wokingham Today

Clement: ‘Saturday is our biggest game of the season’

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PAUL CLEMENT says Saturday’s clash with Sunderland will be Reading’s biggest game of the season.

The Royals are still embroiled in a Championsh­ip relegation battle after another mixed week following a 1-0 victory against Preston North End on Saturday before losing by the same score at Fulham on Tuesday evening.

That leaves Reading 19th in the table, five points clear of the bottom three with just four games to play.

And Clement knows the importance of this weekend’s visit of 23rd-placed Sunderland (3pm).

“We went to Fulham to win, but lost by a very narrow margin,” said the Royals boss.

“So now Saturday is the biggest game of the season for Reading Football Club.

“It would be great to create an atmosphere at the Madejski on Saturday like we had at Fulham on Tuesday, it was brilliant.

“We saw two teams looking to win it, both teams playing good football at times, both teams competitiv­e and all in a brilliant atmopshere.”

He added: “It’s very important we get the three points at the weekend.

“We pushed a very good team, very close on Tuesday.

“And if we can play with the same passion and will to win at home then that will serve us well.”

As well as defeat on Tuesday, Reading also lost versatile midfielder Leandro Bacuna to a late red card that will rule him out of the team for the next three weeks.

After coming on as a sub in Clement’s first game in charge, Bacuna had played 90 minutes every game since and his absence leaves the manager with a selection headache.

“It was a sour note right at the end with Bacuna getting the red card,” admitted the boss.

“It is not a good situation for us because we need him and now we’ll be without him for a number of games.

“But I think some of our football on Tuesday was the best it’s been since I’ve been here.

“We actually played less well against QPR and Preston and picked up two wins and getting points has to be what it’s all about for us at the moment.”

For more Reading FC news and photos, see The Sports Paper inside.

 ?? Picture: Steve Smyth ?? Paul Clement
Picture: Steve Smyth Paul Clement

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