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McCarthy: Reading happy to be a long-ball side

Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy insists that the club are happy to be branded a long-ball team, as long as it is casuing problems for opposition teams.

Recent stats by Opta have revealed that 17.5 per cent of passes Brain McDermott's side have made have been 35 yards or over, the most long balls of any Premier League this season.

Recently promoted teams such as Swansea and Southampton have received praise for their expansive, passing style, while Reading have been criticised for their direct approach.

But the club's keeper insists they are happy to continue playing that way if it gets results.

"We like to put the ball in behind and turn teams around," McCarthy told the Reading Post.

"Passing the ball around a lot and not getting anywhere is not our style of play. We like to turn teams behind and put it around the penalty area, so we're happy to be a long-ball side."

The 22-year-old was brought through the ranks at the Madejski Stadium in 2007, but spent last season on loan at Leeds and Ipswich. He has made five appearances for the Premier League newcomers this season after Adam Federici's poor form, and has contributed to a run of three games unbeaten for the Royals.

Pundits heaped praise on the keeper following his performance against Swansea last Saturday, but after letting a two-goal lead slip at the Liberty Stadium, the young stopper is hoping they can improve when they travel to Anfield to face Liverpool.

"I'm hoping to continue in the same vein, but I’m only taking one game at a time," he added.

"I have been pleased with my performances so far and I'm looking to push on in every game.

"I would have rather kept on playing every week and keep the momentum going rather than have the international break. But it's been nice to get a couple of days off.

"All the boys are really confident at the moment. We've been working hard in training and everyone is looking sharp so hopefully we can take it into Saturday's game."