Adkins bullish ahead of next season

  • Last Updated: May 5 2013, 13:57 BST

Nigel Adkins believes Reading's experience of the npower Championship gives them a "good opportunity" to make a Barclays Premier League return at the first attempt.

Nigel Adkins: Confident of immediate return to the Premier League with Reading
Nigel Adkins: Confident of immediate return to the Premier League with Reading

The Royals romped to the Championship title under Brian McDermott last season but their top-flight stay has lasted just a season, with relegation already confirmed.

The Berkshire club are not going quietly, though, and on Saturday secured their first win since February 2 by thrashing Fulham 4-2 at Craven Cottage.

Adkins was pleased by what he saw from his side on Saturday and, having managed Southampton to second place behind triumphant Reading last season, believes they are well placed to come straight back up.

"The important thing is that the squad here won the Championship last year," he said after winning his first game as Royals boss.

"Obviously we want to play in a certain manner but it has got to be winning football.

"The players sampled the Championship last year so I'd like to think that gives us a good opportunity with the stability that we've already got at the club to look to strive to keep improving on what we've got.

"It is about winning - we are all well aware of that.

"It is not easy for anybody in the Premier League, especially to go on and win games.

"Obviously Reading were in the Championship last season and I promoted myself out of the division so we know how relentless it is going to be next season.

"It will be Saturday then Tuesday, Saturday then Tuesday - there is a lot of games to be played.

"You need your squad of players all to contribute and we want to play football in a certain manner, but it has to be winning football.

"Against Fulham we saw progression in what we are looking to do and important we got a good victory, plus to score four goals away is really pleasing."

All four goals were scored by members of the Championship-winning side, with a Hal Robson-Kanu brace complemented by Adam Le Fondre and Jem Karacan strikes.

However, speculation as to whether any such players will now move on is rife, especially in regards to Le Fondre.

Like so many times this season, the former Rotherham striker came off the bench at Fulham - a role he has become increasingly frustrated with.

Asked if he has a role to play, Adkins said: "Very much so. I think he has set a record for coming off the bench to score in the Premier League.

"You need to have a squad of players next season and to be successful you have got to go and score goals. You can't just rely on one player to do that.

"We've got to make sure we've got enough players in the squad to go and score goals and Adam is obviously one of them."

The Reading manager was less forthcoming when it came to talking about goalkeeper Alex McCarthy despite another fine display.

"We think we've got several good goalkeepers at Reading," Adkins said.

"If you want to be successful, you've got to have a good goalkeeper.

"Adam Federici was in goal last season in the Championship and we've got Stuart Taylor, Mikkel Andersen and a couple of good youngsters coming through the system.

"From that point of view, we know how important it is and obviously we're pleased with Alex's form at Fulham."

Yesterday's defeat means there is a slight chance that Fulham could be joining Reading in the second tier.

Only five points separate them from the drop zone but substitute Hugo Rodallega wants them to remain positive.

"I was happy with the way I played when I came on," he told the club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com.

"I feel bad that we lost the game and the boys are very down, but we must keep our heads up for the next match against Liverpool. They are a big team and we need the three points."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet