Reading v Hull City: Nigel Adkins has focus on Royals as trio of tough Yorkshire tests loom

AHEAD of today's return to former club Reading, Nigel Adkins insists an upcoming run of three consecutive fixtures against Yorkshire rivals in the top six will not prove a distraction.

Republic of Ireland's David Meyler: Misses out against Tigers.
Republic of Ireland's David Meyler: Misses out against Tigers.

The Royals, third-bottom of the Championship, are still searching for their first home league point of the season.

“I was looking for a nine-point haul this week,” said Adkins, whose side beat Ipswich Town last weekend only to then lose at Wigan Athletic on Tuesday.

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“Now, we go into the next one looking for a victory. The following week we play second in the league Middlesbrough, top of the league Leeds United and then Sheffield United, who I think will be right up there at the end of the season and probably get promoted. That is an intimidating place to go.

“Three challenging games. I have watched them all this season. We know that will be three tough games but we can only concentrate on the next one. All our energies are on preparing for Reading.”

One familiar face who will be missing today is David Meyler, the Republic of Ireland international who joined Reading from the Tigers last summer to bring to an end a five-and-a-half-year stay in the East Riding.

Meyler is out with a hamstring injury so the supporters who make the long trip to the Madejski will be denied an opportunity to give the popular midfielder a warm reception.

Asked to explain the circumstances surrounding Meyler’s exit on a free transfer to the Royals, Adkins said: “Me and David had private conversations and it was pretty clear to me that David had every intention of leaving for a new challenge.

“The club had a clause in his contract, something they do with a lot of players. David was with the club in the Premier League and you can see, certainly since I have been here, that the wage bill has been cut.

“The high wages are coming down and the football club didn’t offer David what he was probably going to be looking for.

“David, in his own mind, had been here for a period of time and done really well for Hull City.

“He is a guy I really like but he needed a new challenge. That is David’s admission – and he has got a good football club down at Reading and a new challenge.”

Meyler’s departure severed the last link with the side that took Hull to the 2014 FA Cup final. He won two promotions at the KCOM and made 191 appearances.