April 28, 2013
Players working hard - Adkins
Team Stat Comparison
|Reading||Queens Park Rangers|
|Goals for *||1.2||0.9|
|Goals against *||1.7||1.7|
|Last 5 home||L-D-D-L-L||L-L-L-D-W|
|Last 5 away||L-W-L-L-L||L-D-L-L-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Reading | Queens Park Rangers|
Reading manager Nigel Adkins believes he has a squad of players eager to feature against QPR on Sunday even though they could be relegated from the Barclays Premier League by full-time.
The Royals face Rangers with both clubs knowing defeat would mean they will become the first team to be relegated to the npower Championship.
Other permutations could even see the victors relegated but Adkins has remained positive throughout his brief tenure and reckons his players are raring to go.
"They all want to be involved at the weekend,'' he said. "They all want to play and that is what you want at this stage of the season.
''They all want to be on the training ground, they are all working very hard and they all have a smile on their faces.
"What we are trying to implement, the players have got to do it and they are doing it and I'm really pleased about that.''
Despite the seemingly impossible task of keeping Reading in the top flight, Adkins will not be tempted to watch other games over the course of the weekend in the hope results go their way.
He said: "All I'm going to do is focus on ourselves because that is all you can do, everything else is irrelevant.
''We know that we have got to win games of football and every game we go in to our mindset is to win it. The first game is on Sunday and every game after that we will look to win it."
The former Southampton boss replaced Brian McDermott at Reading on March 26 and has seen his new side take just one point from his opening four fixtures in charge.
But Adkins, who wants to change the players' approach to the game, is relishing the opportunity he has been given with the Royals.
''I'm loving every minute of it," he added. ''Obviously we have only been here a short space of time but it is a good football club and I knew that when I joined. There is change and there will be change and everyone has been positive."
Adkins will still be without a number of first-team players for their bottom of the table clash.
Hal Robson-Kanu has resumed training following a knee injury but Adam Federici, Hope Akpan (both ankle) and Jimmy Kebe (groin) are still missing. They join long-term absentee Jason Roberts (hip) on the sidelines.
Harry Redknapp will use the last four games of QPR's season to judge whether some members of his squad have the fight in them to help the club back in to the Premier League next season.
Rangers' two-year stay in the top flight will come to an end if they lose, and even if they win at the Madejski Stadium, they will be relegated if Aston Villa beat Sunderland on Monday night.
Knowing his team have only a minuscule chance of retaining their top-flight status, Redknapp has already started planning for next season.
The 66-year-old, who this time last year was favourite to land the England job, will meet with the Rangers board next week to discuss potential ins and outs during what promises to be a busy summer for the club.
Some big-name players such as Loic Remy and Julio Cesar are likely to leave while Redknapp will do his best to clear out the likes of Jose Bosingwa, who has failed to live up to expectations despite his £65,000 a week pay packet.
There are players in the Rangers squad who want to remain and help the club get back in to the top-flight, but Redknapp will only include them in his plans if he thinks they are good enough.
"I'm looking at people with next year in mind now. They've all got a lot of play for,'' said the QPR boss.
"We've got to keep going. It's a difficult situation but we've got to keep playing. We're not downing tools. It's important that we don't.
"It's difficult, but we want to pick up as many points as we can. The last few games have knocked us out a bit and it's been disappointing.
"Now it's gone. But we've got to keep going.
Winger Andros Townsend is out for QPR with a hamstring injury. Midfielder Adel Taarabt will have a late fitness test on his shoulder injury while striker Bobby Zamora serves the final game of his suspension.