Mark looking forward to Royals test
With six of Town’s remaining eight games in the Sky Bet Championship against teams above them in the league, Mark Robins believes that it is the time for his players to prove their quality.
“We have done ok against the top six teams, but haven’t picked up enough points,” said Robins. “The majority of our games before the end of the season are against teams above us in the league so that gives us an opportunity to improve that record. We want to play with more freedom and eradicate the daft mistakes; hopefully we can entertain the fans.
“Reading are fighting to stay in the Play-Off spots and they are a good side. Nigel (Adkins) has been in the position before and has experienced promotion from the Championship with Southampton. He has a lot of talented players at his disposal. We have good quality though, and we need to put our minds to the task and perform.”
Town improved from the performance at Blackpool to earn a point against Middlesbrough in midweek.
“We were a little bit more like us on Tuesday night, but again there was sloppiness in our play,” Robins said. “It is something to build on ahead of tomorrow’s tough trip to Reading."
Oscar Gobern had an eventful evening and was involved heavily in both of Town’s goals, however his poor back pass led to Middlesbrough’s first equaliser: “Oscar is a capable player and over the last couple of weeks he has trained with more intensity and desire. He is undoubtedly a talent; when I arrived last season he was just coming back from an injury and played in virtually every match of the run in. He is a young man and I expect him to learn and give me everything that he has.
“We are making some individual errors at the moment, but apart from that I felt Oscar had a good game. He was starting to tire towards the end of the game, which gave me an opportunity to have a look at Duane Holmes.
“Duane has experienced something different at Yeovil and it has given him an insight into how other players, managers and clubs operate. He has also taken part in some good games, one of them being at Reading when they had men sent off and still earned a draw. We will continue to work with him and try and develop him.”
On the recent mistakes, which has cost Town points in their last three matches, Robins said: “We need to be true to our philosophy and continue being brave and passing the ball because we have proven that we are good at it. We are working on it every day and mistakes are going to be part and parcel of the learning process. It is difficult to accept them, but we need to continue in the same vein.
“At times it can be heart in the mouth time for the fans but we will always encourage the players to be brave.”
On the fitness of his players, Robins said: “Joel Lynch is progressing nicely and we will hopefully see him take part in an Under-21 match on Monday. If that goes well then we can start to think about his availability for the Bolton match.
“There has been a bit of illness flying around the building over the last couple of days, but we will assess how everyone is this morning.”