Pearce admits Reading FC need to be more consistent

Published: 3 Feb 2012 09:310 comments

ALEX Pearce says Reading are still striving to find some consistency in 2012.

Alex Pearce celebrates scoring against West Ham.

Royals ended last year in superb form after beating West Ham, Leeds United, Brighton and Ipswich Town without conceding a goal.

That four-match winning streak in December saw Pearce collect the official Championship Player of the Month award for his performances. He also scored against the Hammers and netted the winner against Ipswich Town as Brian McDermott's men finished 2011 on a high.

But the 23-year-old centre-back is the first to admit they have struggled to find that same degree of consistency since the turn of the year.

While Reading have won eight out of 11 league games, they had lost three out of four in all competitions before last weekend's home win against Bristol City.

Now McDermott's men go in search of back-to-back victories when they travel to Doncaster Rovers this Saturday (3pm ko).

And Pearce declared: "Our form has been a bit indifferent in 2012. We lost a couple of games against Cardiff and Stevenage. Then we got a good win at Watford but then took another step back against Hull City.

"The Bristol City win got us back on track again but it has been a little bit inconsistent.

"Hopefully, with the transfer window now shut everyone can knuckle down, focus on the players that we've got and focus on the run-in."

And he added: "We've got a strong squad now so whoever comes into the team can do a good job. We've seen that in midfield. Mikele Leigertwood has been out with an injury and he could have been quite a big miss for us. But Jay Tabb came in and did great. So injuries shouldn't be such a big issue for us from here on."

Royals received a further boost this week following Billy Sharp's transfer from Doncaster to Southampton.

Yet Sean O'Driscoll still has plenty of talent at his disposal including Senegal striker and general bad-boy El-Hadji Diouf, a former team-mate of Jason Roberts at Blackburn Rovers.

Pearce said "It's quite pleasing that Sharp has left because he's a good player. He's lively in the box and Southampton have made a good signing there, it will certainly help them get to where they want to be.

"But we will still need to be on our toes because Doncaster have other good players. Saying that, Sharp is a big miss for them"

"We won 3-0 up there last season which was quite convincing and it's been a good ground for us. Hopefully we can keep that going on Saturday."

Three new players arrived at Madejski Stadium this week - Tomasz Cywka, Matt Connolly and Roberts. And Royals now face two hugely winnable games, with basement boys Coventry set to visit Berkshire a week after the Donny clash.

However, boss Brian McDermott insisted: "We play two teams down the bottom of the league next but it's irrelevant where they are in the table.

"Doncaster is a big game so we'll concentrate on that then worry about Coventry later.

"I don't know if the extra rest this week will do us good because most teams played. But I do know that we should have beaten Hull which would have left us a couple of points off third place.

"However, all we can do is win our next games. There are 18 games to go and 54 points to play for. I think we would all agree that we ended January much stronger than we started it in terms of the players we've got."

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