Jobi: Mapps will come back stronger
Royals captain Jobi McAnuff says defender Adrian Mariappa is still working hard to gain a place in the team.
The 26-year old was not included in the squad for the games with Ipswich and Bolton, but was included on the bench for the visit of his former side Watford. It appears the first choice defensive partnership of Alex Pearce and Sean Morrison will remain the same, as Nigel Adkins attempts to get a settled defence together.
Speaking to the Reading Post, Jobi said: 'Mapps has got his head down. He's determined to work hard and try and get his place back in the team. I get on with Mapps very well having played with him at Watford before, we go back a long way. As disappointed as I was not to start against Ipswich, he wasn't even in the squad.'
'I think that is an indication of how strong our squad is that we can afford to leave someone who is such a good player out. It's going to be the case throughout the season that there's going to be people not starting or not even on the bench who would get into most Championship teams.'
The only thing I believe that is keeping Mariappa out of the team is his height and I understand why. It is a very physical division, with very direct football, which falls straight into Morrison and Pearce's comfort zone, unlike Mapps. He can capably fill in as a right-back, but Gunter is looking very solid at the moment.