Npower Championship promotion contenders: Reading

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Reading's habit of recovering from losing positions will come in handy this season, and in times of adversity midfielder Jem Karacan believes the club have the tools to bounce back from the disappointment of coming within a whisker of promotion via the play-offs last season.

The Royals were left distraught after losing out to Swansea City in a thrilling final at Wembley, but their pre-season campaign has seen their powers of recovery tested, like they were so often during the regular season, as they rallied to beat Bristol Rovers and Swindon Town.

According to the club's midfield maestro, it was important to show their resilience once again and he says: “We don't want to be going down in any game but if it does happen we proved last year and obviously proved in pre-season that we can claw back the goals and get the win.

"People maybe would be looking for us to be on a hangover from Wembley but it's not been talked about here. We just want to push on, we know how well we did last season and we can definitely do the same again.


"All the all the boys are desperately looking forward to it, our motto is to take each game as it comes, we'll be doing that again starting with Millwall."

Apart from the sale of Matt Mills, Reading have retained the majority of their squad that just missed out on promotion last season, giving them the belierf they can go one step further this season.

In what's been a encouraging pre-season, Karacan has been particularly impressed with winger Hal Robson-Kanu, and predicts a bright future for the fellow academy graduate.

"We've had a good few weeks I think and the boys can be happy. You look at people like Hal, he's scored a couple of goals and we know he's always had that in his locker," he added.

"He's one of the strongest guys I've ever come across; the transformation in him the last few years has been brilliant. Even in training you don't want to be against him, he'll give defenders a nightmare this season whether it be on the wing or up front you know he'll go out there and give his best.

“It's a brilliant bit of business that the club have signed him down for three years."

Promotion odds: 9/2

Odds to win title: 14/1


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