McCarthy: Momentum is massive
Goalkeeper Alex McCarthy hopes relegated Reading can at least take some winning momentum into next season.
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21. Alex McCarthy
The Royals are heading back into the npower Championship after a disappointing return to the Barclays Premier League.
But after winning at Fulham in their last outing, the Berkshire outfit want to ensure they finish the season on a positive note with victories over a dispirited Manchester City and West Ham.
McCarthy told the Reading Post: "Momentum is massive. We know we can win games in the Premier League.
"And if we can end with three wins and take that into next year it would do us the world of good.
"It was nice to get a win under our belts against Fulham and you could see how the gaffer has changed things about."
Reading brought in Nigel Adkins as manager in March following the departure of promotion-winning Brian McDermott.
Adkins was unable to prevent the slide back into the Championship but has already begun making changes with next season in mind.
The highly-rated McCarthy, 23, said: "You can see he wants us to play out from the back so we're playing it out more than we have done, so it's nice to be more involved.
"It would be nice to finish the season with three wins on the bounce and give us a lot of confidence going into next season.
"It was frustrating being relegated but all the pressure's off now.
"We went out against Fulham and gave it all we'd got and I think the way we played proved that we can play in the Premier League."
McCarthy, who has impressed in the absence of Adam Federici through injury over the past month, is again likely to start against City at the Madejski Stadium.
Winger Jimmy Kebe, who has missed the last eight games with a groin injury, remains sidelined but midfielder Hope Akpan could return after a four-game absence with an ankle problem.
In terms of the league table, there is little riding on the contest although a point would at least ensure Reading could not finish bottom.
City only need a point to secure second place but that might seem the slightest of consolations to them at present after their shock loss to Wigan in Saturday's FA Cup final.
The days since have also been overshadowed by intense speculation over the future of their manager Roberto Mancini and the circumstances surrounding the match could make for an awkward atmosphere.
But McCarthy still believes it will be a good occasion and is looking forward to testing himself against City's star players.
He said: "It was a great atmosphere playing up at Man City and on Tuesday it will be a massive game.
"They've got a great squad, a really big one, so every player could cause a problem. It should be a great game."