January 5, 2013
Elford-Alliyu in Crawley frame
Richie Barker could add Lateef Elford-Alliyu to his Crawley squad for the FA Cup clash with Reading.
Striker Elford-Alliyu this week moved to the Broadfield Stadium after leaving Barker's former club Bury and the Town boss says he could be involved against the Premier League side.
Richard Brodie is also back at the club after his loan spell at Morecambe expired but the forward is not due to train until next week.
Claude Davis is set to miss out as he awaits the result of a scan on his knee injury, and fellow defender Kyle McFadzean remains absent although he should return to training next week.
McFadzean has been missing since the end of November due to the after-effects of a virus.
Barker has a simple message for his players ahead of the clash - "Just play like Arsenal''.
After the draw was made Barker watched Reading's game against the Gunners and saw Arsene Wenger's side run out thumping 5-2 winners.
"I saw them play Arsenal and if we play like Arsenal we have got every chance,'' he said.
"But they are a very good side with some talented players and if we are to do anything we will have to be at our very best.''
Reading's new signing Daniel Carrico is unlikely to make his debut.
Jason Roberts has returned to training after recovering from a hip problem while Nicky Shorey has overcome a virus.
Boss Brian McDermott is likely to make several changes after playing three Barclays Premier League matches in a week.
Defender Adrian Mariappa believes a strong cup run could inspire the Royals' survival bid.
Critical fixtures against West Brom, Newcastle, Chelsea and Sunderland await over the next four weeks and Mariappa insists dispatching Crawley - whose director of football is former Royals boss Steve Coppell - will provide a welcome shot in the arm.
"You want to go as far as you can in every competition and it's good to get runs in cups - it breeds a lot of confidence if you can go through,'' he said.
"It'll be a tough game though and we'll all prepare right mentally for it. We know what to expect from the FA Cup.
"I've been lucky enough to beat teams when I've been the underdog or when we've been the favourites. It doesn't matter - anyone can beat anyone, that's the magic of the FA Cup.
"We're all used to games coming thick and fast. We want to get through to the next round but we'll also use it as preparation for our next league game."