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Reading V Norwich at Madejski Stadium : Match Preview

09 Nov 2012 14:01:32

Reading V Norwich at Madejski Stadium : Match Preview

Reading V Norwich - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Reading midfielder Jay Tabb believes the Royals need to discover a more ruthless streak as they go in search of their first Barclays Premier League win of the season.

Brian McDermott's side have picked up five points so far on their return to the top flight, and welcome Norwich to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday still looking for an elusive three-point haul.

Tabb, 28, does not think the team are too far away from achieving their goal and insists the dressing room remains upbeat despite sitting 18th in the table.

"Out of nine league games we have taken the lead five times, so we just need to be a bit more ruthless at seeing games out and we will be fine," he said.

"The atmosphere and the spirit here is still pretty good.

"It looks like we are going to win games and I think if the performances weren't there, and we were getting badly beaten every weekend, the morale would be down.

"But it looks like we have got the ability to win games and we have just got to see them out."

Norwich travel to Berkshire having taken seven points from their last three league games.

Tabb believes the Canaries have set out a perfect blueprint for promoted teams to survive in the Premier League and knows they face a stern examination from Chris Hughton's side.

He said: "I think Norwich are a side that did fantastic last year and they are a team that we have got to look to and try and copy what they did as well.

"Obviously they didn't start the season too great but they have had some good results recently and they are especially hard to beat at home.

"Would we have preferred to have played them a few weeks ago? I'm not too sure that matters really.

"I think they are a good side and it is going to be a tough test for us on Saturday."

Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici is in line for a recall. The Australian international is likely to return with current first-choice Alex McCarthy being ruled out for a number of weeks after suffering a shoulder injury in last weekend's 1-1 draw at QPR.

Royals boss Brian McDermott is also without midfield duo Jem Karacan (knee) and Danny Guthrie (thigh), although the latter could return as early as next week. Forward Noel Hunt is available after shaking off a calf problem.

Meanwhile, Hughton admits it is a good feeling to be at Norwich right now - but warned that will change quickly should his side fail to produce the required performance at Reading.

The Canaries head to the Madejski Stadium as a team reborn after the international break, having beaten Arsenal and then Stoke at home as well as knocking Tottenham out of the Capital One Cup to reach the quarter-finals.

It is a marked contrast to just one month ago, when Norwich were stuck in the bottom three after no wins from their first seven league games and having shipped 17 goals.

Hughton, though, insists his men must not lose focus for the clash against a team who are still looking for a first league victory, albeit having lost just once in five games.

"There is always a better feel when you have a few points. We went through a frustrating period and this is a nice one, now we need to sustain it," said Hughton.

"At the moment we are on a decent run, are in good form and we want to capitalise on that, but to do that we need to replicate what we have done in this period.

"We are on the back of a really good win against a tough Stoke team, but as soon as that goes you prepare for the next one."

Norwich face Manchester United and then Everton later this month, but otherwise do not tackle one of the leading teams again until the visit of Chelsea on Boxing Day.

Hughton, however, maintains the Canaries cannot head into any game with different expectations.

"For us, there are no easy matches - irrespective of the opposition, we have to be on top of our game," he said.

"We have to perform at a level which keeps us in the game and gives us an opportunity to win."

Norwich defender Russell Martin's back injury will continue to be assessed ahead of the game.

Centre-half Michael Turner (dead leg) and full-back Javier Garrido (knee) both went off during last weekend's 1-0 home win over Stoke, but are expected to be available.

Striker Harry Kane, on loan from Spurs, is on course to return before Christmas following foot surgery.


PA

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