Reading could be wingless wonders in Cardiff
Published 07:00 17/05/11 By MirrorFootball
Reading manager Brian McDermott is sweating on the fitness of wingers Jimmy Kebe and Hal Robson-Kanu for tonight’s Championship play-off second leg at Cardiff.
Kebe is making a slow recovery from a thigh strain and Robson-Kanu limped out of Friday’s 0-0 first leg draw with a muscle strain.
The pair have travelled with the squad to Cardiff though, and McDermott said: “We will give them every chance and make a decision at the last possible moment.
“I have known what team I wanted to put out at Cardiff since before the first leg and, although I learned one or two things from Friday, I haven’t changed my mind about my preferred side.”
McDermott claims that play-off first leg games are often so tight that “it makes you wonder whether you wouldn’t be better off playing a one-off game at somewhere like Old Trafford.”
The Royals boss claims that he can handle the pressure and jokes that he seems to be calming down the longer season goes on.
“When we played at Everton in the FA Cup, my heart rate peaked at 132 with two minutes to go," he said. "Against Cardiff on Friday it was only 105.”
Cardiff have doubts about Craig Bellamy, who went off injured after 17 minutes at the Madejski Stadium.
“There’s no doubt he is their best individual player,” said Reading full-back Andy Griffin, ”and he is still good enough to be playing in the Premier League. If he doesn’t play, it will benefit us.”
The Royals are preparing for the possibility of a penalty shoot-out to decide who faces Swansea at Wembley.
“A few of the main penalty takers have been practicing,” confessed Griffin.