Tuesday 16 January 2018

Reading boss Steve Clarke's eyes on Cup upset against Gunners

Reading manager Steve Clarke
Reading manager Steve Clarke

The town of Reading may have been swept up in FA Cup euphoria, but Steve Clarke has instructed his players to approach tomorrow's semi-final like any other day at work.

It has been 88 years since the Royals last reached the last-four juncture and the SkyBet Championship side travel to Wembley facing the unenviable task of overcoming in-form Arsenal.

Reading are striving to make the FA Cup final for the first time in their history, leading to excitement understandably building in Berkshire.

Clarke, a winner as player and coach at Chelsea, has told his players not to get caught up in the occasion, with progression the only objective. "I think when you go through to semi-finals, the only way to enjoy it is to win the game," the Reading manager said.

"You can't go to Wembley and play the occasion. It is not about playing the occasion, we're playing Arsenal.

"For us, it has to be a day of work. We have to go there focused only on what happens on the pitch.

"They (Arsenal) look strong, well-balanced," Clarke said. "They're winning games. They have terrific players. Great problems for us to solve."

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