independent

Monday 21 April 2014

McAnuff remains upbeat

Jobi McAnuff retains belief that Reading can defy the odds and stay up

Reading captain Jobi McAnuff accepts his side are going to have to find the form of champions over the final seven matches of the Barclays Premier League season to stay up - but insists it is not an impossible task.

New Royals manager Nigel Adkins saw his side go down 4-1 at Arsenal, which pushed them onto the foot of the table where they are now seven points adrift of safety. However, with a home game against Southampton and then fellow strugglers QPR coming to the Madejski Stadium, McAnuff insists the Berkshire club can save themselves.

"We have got games there that we think are winnable between now and the end of the season and we have got to move on as quickly as possible from this and make sure we are right come Saturday," the midfielder said.

"It changes from year to year, but historically there's obviously a (points) mark teams need to get to. We know we're going to need a good few wins between now and the end of the season to reach that target. We have got to start getting that first win on the board as quickly as possible.

"We feel we've got the games to do it, we've still got some teams in and around us and it's important not to get too down. We will make sure we learn from this defeat and move forward."

McAnuff added: "We have got to really focus on ourselves, we have got a new manager now and everyone is working together to try and stay up. We have been through some rough times before and we have achieved a lot as a group of players and from our point of view that spirit will keep us moving forward."

Adkins was only appointed as Brian McDermott's successor at the start of last week and had little time to implement any significant changes with so many of the squad away on international duty. The former Saints boss, however, continues to stay positive in the face of overwhelming odds.

Adkins said: "It is a great challenge, a massive challenge.

"We have got to keep working hard. We have to keep the belief about people.

"There's a group of players who want to do well, to improve, want to learn and what we have to do is make sure that we all work very hard together so when we go on that pitch everyone is united."

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