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Club News

Nathan Jones pre Reading (H)

31 October 2022

Club News

Nathan Jones pre Reading (H)

31 October 2022

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Manager Nathan Jones is anticipating a ‘tough run of fixtures’ with four matches remaining before the World Cup break, starting with Reading on Tuesday night.

Sitting on 25 points after 17 matches so far this season, Jones is hoping to add another three to that tally when the Royals arrive at Kenilworth Road.

Speaking after Saturday’s draw with Sunderland, the gaffer explained how the whole squad will play a vital role in the final matches before the break.

“We always look at the team because then we have to go to Blackpool, then we have to go to Stoke and then we play Rotherham here. It is a relentless schedule and everyone has to play.”

Reading come into the game level on points with the Hatters and the Welshman hasn’t been surprised by the form of Paul Ince’s team who have won eight times in the league so far.

“He has done a great job there, Incey. I know him really well, they play with real zest and vigour and they have some good players. Jeff Hendrick from Newcastle, they have Lucas Joao, Tom Ince, so they have a good side. It hasn’t surprised me that they’re doing well. They did well at the end of last season and now they’re carrying that form on.

“I did my coaching badges and pro licence with him [Ince], he’s a good guy. I know Tom really well and I know Paul through Tom as well, so we developed our bond from that, we have a friendship and that’s good.”

Providing a squad update, Jones shared his admiration for Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, who has been struggling with a knee injury since April, after he made his third league appearance of the season on Saturday despite lacking match fitness.  

“He’s hardly trained and that is why I love the kid. I said to him and said ‘look, I need it from you today’ and he gave me everything. He’s so rusty but he gives me everything and I love him.

Further on his groups fitness, Jones added: “Luke Berry has just come from the illness, he had it really bad, we didn’t see him until Thursday, Pottsy exactly the same.

On Henri Lansbury: “It’s a tweak. It’ll be a week or 10 days, whatever it is. It’s tough for Henri and it’s unfortunate because we can’t get a run of games out of him at the minute which is the frustrating thing.”

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