Cardiff City manager Russell Slade spoke to the press & media on Thursday morning ahead of Friday evening’s clash with Reading FC.
The Royals arrive in Wales two places below the Bluebirds in the Sky Bet Championship in fourteenth, and Russell told of what to expect from Nigel Adkins’ side.
“Reading are a team that like to go forward, for sure,” he said. “They commit men forward, play with a nice intensity and like to score goals. Their form away from home, again, doesn’t marry up to their form at home, but there are goals in the side, with Glenn Murray and Simon Cox, so they have some big threats.
“Oliver Norwood is decent on the ball in midfield, and they get forward and try to overload you in the full-back area. It’ll be a different game, a different obstacle, and a different challenge to overcome again. It’s at home, and we’ve had some good performances at home in recent weeks, and I’d like to continue in that manner.
“Nigel Adkins is a very talented manager. He was very successful with Southampton, and before that he took Scunthorpe into the Championship. In terms of where he’s at, he’s probably going through a period now where he’s trying to get his team back on track and maybe needs to shake his team up a little bit to move forward again.
“I’m sure Nigel has the experience now to be capable of turning that around.”
With a proportion of his squad away on international duty over the weekend, Russell confirmed that Bruno Ecuele Manga, Anthony Pilkington and David Marshall had all returned from their respective national team bases, while Kenwyne Jones was expected back on Thursday.
“Bruno’s here,” the City boss started, “We’re still waiting on Kenwyne, who I think has landed this morning. Kenwyne’s the last one that we’re waiting for. Trinidad and Tobago got to the final [of the Caribbean Cup] so there were five games that he could have potentially been involved in, and he played in three of those. They lost [to Jamaica] in the final after 120 minutes. I would have liked him back a little sooner.
“I sent him an email when he went away, telling him to stay strong and reminding him that our thoughts are with him in a difficult time. I know his teammates will get around him, and Kenwyne will come back and do a positive job for us.
“Bruno Manga was in this morning, as was Pilks [Anthony Pilkington] after his goal for the Republic of Ireland, and then David Marshall has been in as well for the first time since the international break. Pilks picked up a little bit of an injury, a little strain, but we think he’s okay, so we’ll be watching that. It’s the same with David Marshall.
“Bruno, as we expected, didn’t play any football. We sent a message to Gabon, though the rule with international football is that his national side can still invite him over and assess him, which is what they did, and then he didn’t play in the end.
“With Mats [Møller Dæhli], we asked Norway to give him three or four days – he played in their first game, about fifty minutes, which was a little bit of a risk but he’s come through it. It is a little bit frustrating that when we say to let players recover for a certain number of days, they get picked anyway, but it looks like we were right with both Mats and Bruno.
“Bruno’s had no football at all, so I’ll have him assessed by the medical department today, and hopefully we’ll get him out for some sort of light session today, fingers crossed.
“We were very pleased with the clean sheet that Sean Morrison and Ben Turner kept last time out against Birmingham City, but it’s good that we have great competition for places in that position now.”