Date:Wednesday January 18 2006
Reading go into something of an interesting game with Crystal Palace on Friday evening with manager Iain Dowie convinced that his side can catch up with the Championship leaders.
Palace are sitting in fifth place at the moment, some 16 points behind second placed Sheffield United and 25 points behind the Royals.
That’s some gap to make up but they have won their last six games on the bounce, including an FA Cup fourth round tie with Hull City
Thirteen games into the season Palace reached fifth place, but only three games later they started a slump that took them down to ninth. Since then Dowies men have fought their way back up to the play off places and now eye an automatic promotion spot rather than take their chances in a play off lottery.
Dowie said: 'I'm always the optimist and although I believe Steve Coppell and Neil Warnock have done fantastic jobs, I still believe that automatic promotion can be achieved.
'We've got to go on a hell of a run and win as many games as we can but I'm not one for watching how others are doing, It's about what we do.'
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