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Sunday 20 August 2017

Reading boss Steve Clarke wants focus on league

Reading manager Steve Clarke
Reading manager Steve Clarke

Reading manager Steve Clarke has urged his players to concentrate on the Sky Bet Championship rather than their FA Cup quarter-final replay against Bradford at the Madejski Stadium next Monday.

After breaking a losing run of three matches at home with a 2-1 victory over Brighton on Tuesday evening, Clarke said that the Championship trip to Watford on Saturday was the only matter on his mind.

"That win gives us a lift in the league because that's what we needed," he said. "It was a big win for us. We wanted to make the gap bigger between us and the bottom three. And we deserved to do it.

"Saturday is the next game and we're just preparing for that - that only. It was important to put in a good home performance because we've lost the last three games here and not scored any goals. We showed a lot of grit, determination and character."

The teams went into the game with poor goalscoring records at home and away respectively. Reading had not scored in three successive defeats at the Madejski; Brighton had not scored in four successive away matches.

"We probably didn't deserve anything," Brighton boss Chris Hughton said. "We rallied well in the second half but, after getting back in the game, we then conceded again. That was disappointing."

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