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Premier League preview: Swansea v Reading

Reading striker Noel Hunt has demanded his team focus on playing direct football as they try and take advantage of Swansea’s poor form.

Swansea have lost three consecutive matches and had few answers in their 2-0 defeat at Stoke last Saturday.

While Reading manager Brian McDermott is hardly a convert of Stoke’s incredibly direct style of football, the club from just west of London play their best when they move the ball quickly up to their strikers.

Hunt believes Reading’s 2-2 draw against Newcastle last week should remind them how to play.

“We needed to concentrate on playing our own game and not to be embarrassed by it – Newcastle have a similar direct style of play and they managed to get into Europe last season,” Hunt said.

“At the start of the season we didn’t get things quite right but in the last two games it’s been working much better.”

The 28-year-old striker scored Reading’s second goal to put the home team 2-1 up on Saturday and while his team have yet to win since re-joining the English Premier League this season, Hunt is convinced they proved they belong against Newcastle.

“I was delighted with the goal and I thought we had done enough to go on to win the game,” Hunt said.

“We were in full control, looked really good and dominated the game.

“Newcastle are a great side and I think they were relieved to come out of the game with a point.”

Reading should be confident they can pull off their first victory of the Premier League season away to Swansea considering the Welsh club’s form.

Swansea have lost to Stoke, Everton and Aston Villa and manager Michael Laudrup has conceded his team’s next two games against Reading and Wigan are crucial.

“They are two games at home against teams in our league,” Laudrup said.

“They are teams who you can say are in direct combat with us.”

Laudrup’s main concern will be goals with Swansea having been kept scoreless in their past three matches.

The 48-year-old Dane needs to get his team back to the form that saw them score 10 goals in their first three games.

A different striker may be the answer with Danny Graham having started every league match up front this season for just one goal.

Laudrup’s other options include Luke Moore and Itay Shechter, an Israeli striker who has joined Swansea on loan from Kaiserslautern.

Thu 4 October, 2012
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