Federici vows to bounce back

  • Last Updated: August 19 2012, 13:36 BST

Adam Federici vowed not to let his opening-day clanger set the tone for the season after his blushes were spared by a last-gasp equaliser on Reading's Barclays Premier League return.

Adam Federici: Opening-day error

Team Score Team
Reading 1 - 1 Stoke City

The Royals' top-flight second coming ended in a 1-1 draw against Stoke, with Adam Le Fondre's 90th-minute penalty letting goalkeeper Federici off the hook.

The Australian had earlier gifted the visitors the lead when he embarrassingly allowed Michael Kightly's seemingly harmless shot slip through his arms.

The blunder was completely out of character for Federici, who kept 20 clean sheets in Reading's npower Championship-winning campaign last season.

He was otherwise largely untroubled on Saturday, a state of affairs that is unlikely to continue when the Royals travel to Chelsea on Wednesday and Sunderland next weekend.

Federici said: "I've never made that mistake in training, let alone in games.

"There was a massive deflection on it. It kind of just stuck to my shirt and spun off my wet top and I just lost it.

"It's tough to take. I've worked extremely hard to get here and to have that first experience in the Prem. I'd say I was a little bit nervous as well, and the boys were, to start with.

"But, early days, there's a long way to go and I'm sure that the next few games will be good ones for myself in particular."

Asked if he was the most relieved man in the stadium after Le Fondre snatched a draw, the 27-year-old added: "I wouldn't say relieved because I'm very hard on myself. I'd say I'm a little bit embarrassed.

"I've been dreaming about playing in the Premier League for a long time so I'm taking it pretty hard to be honest."

Position Player Score
4 Newcastle 3
5 West Ham 3
6 Reading 1
7 Stoke City 1
8 Arsenal 1

Worryingly for the Federici, Reading did little to suggest they could get back into Saturday's game before sending on new signing Garath McCleary, who completely transformed their fortunes and won their penalty.

Federici said: "The boys deserved something out of that. It's been a long, long journey for few of them and we've come a long way to get there. The boys worked extremely hard to get a point and they deserved to be happy."

Federici cannot wait for to Wednesday's trip to Stamford Bridge and another match against Fernando Torres, recalling the striker's League Cup hat-trick against him five years ago.

Federici said: "I'll be looking forward to it, as all the other boys will be, and it will be a good test for me."

Stoke winger Kightly was delighted to mark his debut with a goal, which would have won over some of the doubters following his arrival from Wolves.

"I know how hard it is to play against Stoke, so it's nice to be on the other side of the fence," he said, admitting his disappointment at his strike not ending up the winner.

"We've got to see out games like that because it's two points dropped for us."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis, who also saw Dean Whitehead shown a second yellow card for conceding the penalty, bemoaned his side's inability to kill Reading off.

That might explain his pursuit of Michael Owen, a big-name signing Kightly would welcome.

"Michael's a top, top player and his experience will only help us, so we'll see what happens," Kightly said.

"He's not been the first big player to be linked with this club and that's one of the attractions that was there for me to come here.

"Whether we sign him is a different matter but it's a club that I feel that are pushing in the right direction and one that I wanted to be a part of."

Kightly was just pleased to be back playing regular Premier League football following an injury nightmare at Wolves he admitted led to him becoming depressed.

He said: "Obviously, I've had a tough time with injury but I feel like I'm well over that now.

"I played 30-odd games last year and I just want to build on that this year."