O'Neill on home opener

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Boss assesses Reading threat.

Martin O’Neill has warned that newly-promoted Reading will provide his side with a stiff test tomorrow.

The Black Cats return to the Stadium of Light for the first time this season having drawn 0-0 at Arsenal on the opening day.

Reading have played two games – versus Stoke and Chelsea – and performed well in both outings.

“It'll be tough for us, as last week was,” O’Neill said. “We're at home, we'll try and press and make home advantage count if we can. Hopefully the crowd will be behind us.

“So it's a tough game for us, a really tough game. I think Reading deserve tremendous credit for their efforts last season considering the disappointments of the previous year.

“The point last week was a proper plus, and I don't think you can disregard that. But of course, at home, you want to get off to a winning start if you can.

“We want to try and play well and we want to enthuse the crowd. All of those things are our ambitions, and to naturally try to win the game.

“We're at home now, we want to show some attacking options and we want to try and score some goals this season. That's one of our aims, if not our priority.”

He added: “I think this is one of the most difficult times to play the promoted teams. The enthusiasm and exuberance are something Reading have in abundance, they can also play a bit as well.

“They will consider themselves unlucky not to get something against the European champions away from home. It was a great effort.

“I know from experience these games are not easy. We've got to be at it.

“I'm expecting a very difficult game, Reading will be fearless and come to us with a great deal of vitality to their game.”