Neil Lennon prepared for Reading test

Manager offers his thoughts ahead of the Whites' clash with Reading this weekend

Ahead of Wanderers’ trip to the Madejski Stadium this weekend, Neil Lennon is confident that his side have all the motivation they need to leave Berkshire with a positive result come full time on Saturday afternoon. 

With Wanderers in fine form of late heading into the clash, the manager also believes that there will be an added incentive for a number of players who were involved in last season’s heavy defeat against the Royals.

“The players need to use last year’s result as motivation,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “They need to use the pain and that hurt that I’m sure they had after that game to go there and get a result.

“We are a different team now though. A week is a long time in football, and a year is a lifetime.

“If they need any actual motivation, it will be the fact that Reading are there and there abouts with us in the league table, so this is as big a game as it was last week against Huddersfield.”

The manager also praised his players for their effort in recent weeks, with Lennon pleased by the collective displays of his team of late.

“What has pleased me recently is the commitment of the team,” said Lennon. “They’ve thrown their bodies at things at times and we’re finishing games very well. 

“We dominated the last half hour against Huddersfield last time out – I was perhaps a little bit harsh on reflection after the game because in hindsight I thought we played very well, but I’m wanting more.

“In terms of possession, we’re well ahead of the opposition in the last four or five games and I want us to be a little bit more creative in the final third to make more of the possession that we’re having.”

He continued: “We are getting the wins now that we desperately needed, while in terms of performances we have been pleased, particularly with our home form. 

“Our away form though has to improve - if we are to have any realistic ambitions of making the play-offs, we need to start winning games away from home.

“That isn’t easy in this division, and what I’ve found in this division is how tight it is,” he explained. “There really is nothing between the teams, so any point or win away from home will be precious going forward.

“I expect Reading to be turning their fortunes around as the season goes on, especially with the manager they have, but hopefully that won’t start against us after their good win at Norwich.

“We have real motivation for the game – we’re trying to look up the table now, but we know it can change very quickly and we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.

“We’ve always tried to instill that mentality, and although we are now winning games, teams around us are doing so as well. It’s such an unpredictable league, so to find a little bit of consistency is good.”
Read Time: 3 mins