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Reading hoping to heap misery on Fulham

last updated Saturday 17th January 2015, 8:21 AM

Reading manager Steve Clark
Reading manager
Steve Clark
Reading manager Steve Clarke admits he is a little nervous about his side's position in the table and has called on them to pull away from the relegation zone by taking three points from the trip to Fulham.

Steve Clarke is hoping to heap misery on Fulham whilst seeing his Reading side move up the table.

It is a clash between 17th and 18th in the Championship, with Reading looking to extend their four game unbeaten run in front of a sold-out away end.

Performances have been much improved in recent weeks and the Royals look to be heading in the right direction - but Clarke admits he's still slightly concerned when he looks at the table.

"I still look over my shoulder and see we're close to the teams in the bottom three," he said. "That makes me a little bit nervous as I'd prefer to be further away.

"The quicker we do that the quicker the team can relax a bit and look to build on what we've done so far.

"We're still building. I said when I came in that it won't be a quick fix. We've tightened up a little bit but there are aspects of the team we have to improve.

"We have to get more shots on target and we have to get more balls in the box to be a bigger threat to the opposition."

Fulham have lost their last three league games without scoring a goal, but advanced in the FA Cup in midweek by beating Wolves on penalties.

It's been a tough time for new boss Kit Symons and Clarke is hoping that will continue until Saturday evening.

"I'm a little bit surprised at where they are in the league," he said. "They're probably disappointed with their position in the league but it's our job to make sure that come Saturday night they'll still be disappointed.

"They're a good team with good players. They play a particular way and we have to be ready for that but I think we are.

"We've done a bit of work on the training ground this week and I think we're good to go. It'll be a tough game."

It is likely that Garath McCleary will be available for the fixture, though Hope Akpan remains sidelined until early February with a knee injury.

The fixture will see Reading's biggest away following since Arsenal in 2013 - with over 2,500 tickets sold - and Clarke paid tribute to the supporters for their efforts since he's arrived.

""I think it shows the supporters are there for us and want to help us," he said. "When we've needed the supporters recently they've got behind us. Against Middlesbrough in the last 10 minutes the supporters helped carry the team over the line to get that point.

"To take 2,500 to an away game should create a good atmosphere and hopefully the players can respond.

"It's also tribute to the fact that the players have started to win the fans back over and get them back on side.

"Hopefully we can put on a really good performance, get a great result and hopefully next time we go away we can take another 2,500."

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