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Multiple doubts for McDermott
Reading manager Brian McDermott is sweating over the fitness of several key first-team players for the clash with Bristol City.
McDermott has doubts over captain Jobi McAnuff (groin) and midfielder Mikele Leigertwood (thigh), although defender Andy Griffin, who has sat out the Royals' last four matches with an Achilles injury, could be fit for the match.
Forward Mathieu Manset is also classed as a major doubt after tweaking his hamstring in a reserve-team match and winger Jimmy Kebe is in the process of recovering from a knee niggle.
New signing Karl Sheppard has not played since December 15 and may not yet be ready for consideration as Reading look to bounce back from last Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Hull.
However, Jason Roberts and Tomasz Cywka could both make their debuts after arriving from Blackburn and Derby respectively on Thursday.
Bristol City will be without midfielder Marvin Elliott.
Elliott is still struggling with the hamstring injury he picked up during the 1-0 victory over Millwall at Ashton Gate on January 3 and will not be available to manager Derek McInnes against the Royals.
McInnes will also be missing captain Liam Fontaine, who continues his recovery from a knee injury, and Ryan Taylor (foot) for the fixture.
However, full-back Cole Skuse could feature after shrugging off the after-effects of a dead leg sustained in the 2-1 win over Doncaster last weekend.
Striker David Clarkson will not be involved after picking up an ankle problem in training which the club say will keep him out of action for "the foreseeable future".
Roberts strike enough for Royals
Jason Roberts endeared himself to the Reading fans as his debut goal was enough to see off 10-man Bristol City, despite visiting goalkeeper David James saving two penalties.
Roberts, who arrived at the Madejski Stadium from Blackburn on Thursday, bundled home the rebound after James blocked his second-half spot-kick to put the Royals on course for three important npower Championship points.
City defender Louis Carey saw red for the visitors after bringing the forward down in the area to hand Roberts the chance from the spot.
Albert Adomah struck a post for the guests in the aftermath of Roberts' strike, but that was as close as City came to getting themselves back into the match.
Jobi McAnuff also missed a late penalty to put gloss on the victory after Tomasz Cywka was felled in the box, while Reading missed a hatful of chances in front of goal over the 90 minutes, with Jem Karacan, Noel Hunt and Michail Antonio all at fault.
Home keeper Adam Federici did well to deny Chris Wood and Stephen Pearson, and eventually it was left to Roberts to grab the headlines on his first appearance for his new club.
City started brightly and Federici had to be alert to tip Wood's header over the bar in the fourth minute.
The Aussie stopper was in action moments later, throwing himself low to his right to prevent Pearson's bobbling effort from creeping in.
Reading soon rallied and McAnuff and Michail Antonio both saw attempts fail to test James.
As the hosts found their feet, Noel Hunt picked out Antonio with a superb pass only for James to deny the winger, while Roberts' follow-up was blocked by Pearson.
McAnuff should have done better than head Hunt's cross high and wide when well placed, before Hunt himself spurned a glorious opportunity when he failed to guide Antonio's whipped centre past James.
The visitors seemed to be hanging on, but out of nowhere they almost clawed their way in front. Adomah produced a sensational overhead kick, which appeared to be heading for the back of the net, but Federici made the stop.
Roberts was impressive throughout his and came close to a goal after 35 minutes. McAnuff's cross found the former Blackburn frontman but his flick drifted wide.
For all their chances, Reading still found themselves level at the break as Kaspars Gorkss sent a fizzing 25-yard volley narrowly over the bar and Jem Karacan followed suit moments before the interval.
City replicated their good start to the first half when the sides re-emerged for the second, and Wood nodded Yannick Bolasie's cross straight at Federici from five yards out two minutes after the break.
However, Reading jumped into the driving seat after 58 minutes. Roberts seized onto a ball in the box and induced the foul from Carey.
Carey was dismissed by referee Patrick Miller and, although Roberts' poor spot-kick was saved by James, the striker was on hand to dispatch the rebound.
The home side were quick to turn the screw after taking the lead.
Antonio volleyed over and Roberts shot wide on the turn as the Berkshire outfit piled on the pressure.
On the counter, however, the away side were inches away from an equaliser. Adomah's side-footed effort had Federici beaten only for the shot to cannon back off a post.
McAnuff had two further chances to put Reading out of sight before the Royals skipper saw his 89th-minute spot-kick pushed away by James.
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