Royal praise for in-form Federici

Reading boss Nigel Adkins has revealed he selected Adam Federici for the club’s opener over Alex McCarthy due to the Australian’s superb pre-season form.

Speculation has been mounting about the future of McCarthy, who was Reading’s first choice keeper last term, freezing out Federici who missed Australia’s 2014 World Cup squad.

It was believed McCarthy’s unclear future led to Federici’s elevation but Adkins rubbished those suggestions.

The forgotten 29-year-old Australian stopper produced some stellar form in pre-season, including a remarkable save against Yeovil Town which made him briefly an internet sensation.

Adkins explained subsequently Federici was given the nod for Saturday’s 2-2 draw away to Wigan on the opening weekend of the Championship and was full of praise for his performance, hinting he is likely to retain his spot.

“The fact is Adam has been in great nick during pre-season,” Adkins told reporters. “He earned and deserved the opportunity to start on Saturday.

“And I thought he had an excellent game, his ability to play out from the back was first class."

Adkins added: “There’s been speculation about Alex since I joined the club. That has got no relevance whatsoever about anything.

“I know you guys (the press) will think of all sorts of things. If I’d have played Alex you would have been saying what’s happening with Feds then?”

Adkins opted to play McCarthy ahead of Federici in Reading’s overnight Capital One Cup clash with Newport, but the boss revealed that was planned last week.

“I told them both the day before the (Wigan) game that Adam was starting because it was a big decision,” Adkins said.

“I had a good conversation with Alex, told him my reasons and that he would be playing tonight.

“He will respond in the right manner because we’ve got excellent goalkeepers with the right attitudes at this club.”

Adkins also had positive words for Reading’s Australian debutant Ryan Edwards, who played an hour against Wigan, also on the back of a positive pre-season.

“Ryan Edwards made his debut, had an excellent pre-season and to start his first game in the Championship is really pleasing,” Adkins said