Two more wins will keep us upBy Nick Ive
March 12, 2008
JOHN OSTER believes two victories from Reading’s remaining nine games could be enough to secure the club’s Premier League future.
Steve Coppell’s men climbed out of the relegation zone following Saturday’s 2-0 win over Manchester City and are now 14th in the table.
In previous seasons 40 points have been regarded as the safety mark. But with so many teams struggling, far fewer points are likely to be needed to avoid the drop in May.
Oster said: “I’m not entirely sure how many points we’ll need – maybe another couple of wins. That would mean teams in and around us would need to win three or four games, which will be difficult.”
Royals still have home games against fellow strugglers Birmingham City and Fulham as well as trips to Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic and Derby County.
And Oster said: “With the run-in we have against teams at home I think that gives us the advantage.
“Our destiny has always been in our hands as we have all the teams in around us to play. Obviously we had a bad spell, but hopefully other teams are going to have theirs.”
Coppell, though, has set his sights higher.
Royals’ boss said: “If we get 40 points we will be safe, but I don’t want to just do enough.
“The aim is to try to win every game. I always go back to what Kenny Dalglish said after Liverpool won the double. He was asked what the aim was for the following season and he said ‘to get 40 points’.
“That is every team’s first aim. Then when you get that you re-assess your target. For us right now it is to reach 40 points.”
Oster added: “It’s been a while since we picked up back-to-back wins. It is just good to follow on from last week after a good result at Middlesbrough.
“Last year it all came too easy and you don’t realise how hard it can be. I’m just glad to get a bit of breathing space, albeit for one week. The table looks healthier.
“When other teams near the bottom win you curse them. It is difficult to take, but at the moment I hope they are all cursing us and thinking they are getting a head of steam.”
Reading face a tough trip to Anfield this Saturday to take on Liverpool. The Reds will be seeking revenge for their 3-1 defeat at Madejski Stadium in December.
Oster warned: “They’ve been banging in threes and fours and it will be difficult, but we have to go up there with a positive attitude and give a good account of ourselves.”