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Reading manager Nigel Adkins praises deadly duo

29 January 2014

Reading manager Nigel Adkins hailed the free-scoring duo of Adam Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak after his team cruised past managerless Blackpool with a 5-1 victory.

Le Fondre claimed a second successive home hat-trick, having hit a treble in the previous 7-1 thrashing of Bolton Wanderers, while Pogrebnyak scored one goal in each match.

"Adam and Pavel are a real threat," Adkins said. "They've got a great partnership going at the moment and long may it continue. They work so hard for the team as well.

"Adam's three goals were just exceptional. It was a good team performance all round and there was a good level of consistency.

"A lot of that is down to being able to pick the same team for four matches in a row for the first time since I've been here. So it's no great surprise that we're now becoming more consistent.

"We've had a lot of players injured for a long period of time but we've got a good group of lads who are having a right go for each other. It bodes well for the remainder of the season."

Le Fondre, so impressive in the demolition of Bolton, was at it again in only the seventh minute. Garath McCleary's deflected cross fell nicely for him and, though appearing offside, he volleyed home from close range and the goal was allowed to stand.

Ten minutes later Le Fondre pounced again, nodding in easily after Alex Pearce had headed on a Jobi McAnuff corner.

It was all Blackpool could do to hold on, especially with no Tom Ince to guide them. The midfielder was left out as he continued his tour of clubs wanting to buy him, which include Swansea and Stoke.

Father Paul had departed as manager last week, sacked after less than a year in charge, and Blackpool seemed rudderless.

Home goalkeeper Alex McCarthy had only a series of crosses to trouble him and he dealt with all of them comfortably.

Reading stretched their lead early in the second half when Pogrebnyak slotted home after a clever pass from Le Fondre.

Steve Davies gave Blackpool some hope with a thunderous 30-yarder that flew past McCarthy but Reading soon regained control.

Le Fondre completed his treble, dinking the ball over Matt Gilks from an incisive McCleary pass for his 13th goal of the season, and substitute Hal Robson-Kanu lashed in a 20-yard effort near the end.

Caretaker Blackpool boss Barry Ferguson dropped himself from the team for the second time since taking over from Ince, and he said: "That was my own decision. I don't think you can play, captain and manage. I think it's better for me to take the team from the sidelines.

"I've still yet to find out what my situation is going to be. I don't know at the moment.

"It's a tough job management, in general, but apart from the result tonight, I really enjoyed it.

"I'm a passionate guy and I never like getting beaten. We needed to cut out the individual errors but didn't. The dressing-room is pretty down and low in confidence."

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