The Wokingham Paper

PREVIEW: Paul Clement warns that the job is not yet done for Reading FC ahead of trip to Hillsborough

Paul Clement
Paul Clement expects a tough test against Ipswich

PAUL CLEMENT insists Reading FC cannot afford to take their Championship status for granted.

The Royals sit 19th in the table, five points clear of the relegation zone with three games to play, starting away at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday (3pm).

But despite that cushion, Clement is not prepared to gear up for life in the second tier next season just yet.

PODCAST: Sunderland draw, trip to Sheffield and the South Stand on the agenda

“There’s three very important games to go,” said the Reading boss.

“Things can change very quickly. You can get a momentum switch if you don’t get the right result and other results go against you.

“We’ve got to remain focussed. This job is not done.

Yann Kermorgant earned Reading a point against Sunderland

“We’ve got to pick up some more points otherwise we’re going to be in a very nervous situation in the last game.

“We want to try and get it done as early as possible.

“I’d rather be in our position than any of the other teams that there are doubts about whether they’re going to stay up or go down.

“We’re in a better position than them, but we can’t be complacent.”

Clement is set to name an unchanged squad of 18 from last week’s draw against Sunderland with Leandro Bacuna still banned and Paul McShane, Tommy Elphick and Joseph Mendes all still among the injured party.

Leandro Bacuna is still suspended

Sheffield Wednesday are in the unique position of having little to play for having hauled themselves away from relegation trouble to sit comfortably in 16th.

The Owls have won four of their last six matches, including a 1-0 win at Hull City last time out and Clement expects a tough battle.

“I think players have always got something to play for because of the scrutiny that goes on with the fans, with the social media, with the media, they’re always in the spotlight and they have to perform,” he said.

“Whether it’s because they’re not in a relegation battle or they’re not pushing for play-offs or promotion, I think that can also be seen as dangerous.

“When there’s not that amount of pressure, players can loosen up and show a sense of freedom that can improve performance so we have to expect the best of Sheffield Wednesday.”

He added: “I think Sheffield Wednesday on their day are really dangerous.

“They’ve got good options, especially up front.

“They can play with two big men, they’ve got (Jordan) Rhodes and (Fernando) Forestieri, they’re a threat.

“It’s a hard game but we’re in good shape.

“We’ve prepared well, it will be a hard game for them as well.”

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