Pardew Satisfied With Bore Draw

Last updated : 18 January 2003 By Rob Cooper
After sending the Royals crashing out of the FA Cup in midweek the defensive-minded Saddlers again frustrated Reading by holding them at bay for ninety minutes.

Despite a frenzied push towards the end, an afternoon of endeavour yielded no attacking reward. Jamie Cureton and Nicky Forster both went close for Reading with the visitors were by and large happy to sit back and defend for a point.

Speaking after the game boss Alan Pardew said: "Walsall did their utmost to make it a stagnant, boring game and we did our best to overcome that.

"It was difficult today, the opposition showed no ambition to try to win the game, with a player of Leitao's class almost ending up in the left-back position. We've taken four points from our two games with Walsall so I suppose I should be happy with that."

Pardew was full of praise for Steve Brown, who put in another good performance at the back.

"I thought Steve Brown was terrific today, not just his defending but his passing as well. The back four defended very well and took the game to Walsall as best they could, but it was in front of them that we lacked some spark," commented the Royals boss.

In the week that he signed a new contract Alan Pardew praised striker Jamie Cureton for a whole-hearted performance up front after coming on as a substitute.

Commenting on the performance of Cureton, a player he is widely believed not to hold in high regard, Pardew said: "Curo looked nice and sharp today. He could have started if he hadn't got injured in the week, because his invention when teams are defending is important."

Coventry, Nottingham Forest, Leicester, Crystal Palace, Wolves and Portsmouth all dropped points meaning that the Royals stay in seventh place, within pouncing distance of the Play-Offs. Indeed, a win over Micky Adam's Leicester City side in ten days time will move Reading back up into the Play-Off places.

"We're still seventh and with games in hand over the teams above us, and Leicester's a big game because it's an extra game for us, so a great opportunity for us to get back into the top six. We've got nine days to improve on the Walsall performance and I think we will," added Pardew.