McCleary hopes for Reading fortress
READING, England, (CMC):
Garath McCleary said Reading were looking to be formidable on home turf following their 3-1 victory over 10-man Norwich City on Boxing Day.
The Jamaica international hit a 68th minute goal from a missed penalty, as the Royals clinched their fifth consecutive English League Championship victory against the Canaries at the Madejski Stadium, the club's ground.
"It's been going really well," McCleary told the club's website. "[This] game was obviously really tough - Norwich are a good team and on their day they can beat anyone.
"They have a lot of players that were playing in the Premier League as recently as last season, so it's good to get three points - and roll on Fulham, who we owe!
"We're trying to make this place a fortress, where we don't get beat too often. We don't want to get beat anywhere, but especially not at home. It was a good win, especially against a tough team like Norwich."
McCleary's goal, hit on the rebound from a Yann Kermorgant penalty, was the middle of the three - and re-established a lead after Nelson Oliveira had equalised for Norwich.
Kermorgant had opened the scoring by guiding in a header from Liam Kelly's free kick, and Callum Harriott hammered in a thunderbolt in added time to round off the scoring.
"Yann is an asset, both in attack and defensively," said McCleary. "And it was a great ball from Liam, who also did very well.
"I've missed a few pens, but somehow I get on the rebounds. It happened again. It happens sometimes, and if you've got people following up, they can score and help you through it."
McCleary said: "I was grateful to get a goal. It's unfortunate for Yann that he didn't score, but as long as we got that goal, that's the main thing.
"Callum Harriott got his goal right at the end as well, and that was a great finish. All the boys, whether they have been playing or not, they've all been superb in training and pushing each other to get that spot, so long may that continue."
Reading face another big challenge when they face Fulham on Friday in their next match.