Mariappa: Reading remain positive despite slipping back into drop zone

The Jamaica international says that the Royals are still upbeat despite their defeat to the Potters dropping them back into the bottom three with only 12 games of the season to go
Adrian Mariappa insists that Reading "remain positive" despite slipping back into the relegation zone following their 2-1 defeat to Stoke City on Saturday.

The Royals enjoyed a good run in January, going four matches unbeaten, while Brian McDermott and Adam Le Fondre won the manager of the month and player of the month awards, respectively.

9/1 Reading are 9/1 with BetVictor to finish as the Premier League's top newcomer this season
"It was a tough game and they have some big boys - they used their attributes really well and in the first half I thought we stood up to that," Mariappa told The Reading Post.

"We're disappointed with the goals but it's been a positive time for us and we will remain positive."

Reading have flown out to Dubai for warm-weather training ahead of their FA Cup clash with Manchester United and Mariappa is feeling fine despite travelling from Mexico, to play for Jamaica, to the Middle East via England in a week.

"We've done a lot of travelling and it does take its toll," he admitted.

"You remain focused on the job in hand and when we flew out of Mexico we did all the right preparation and made sure we took care of the little things, like your hydration.

"But when the whistle goes all that stuff goes out of your head and you're fully focused. It's the same when I came back, but unfortunately we didn't get the result we wanted."