April 17, 2015 12:44:50 UK
Reading loan striker Jamie Mackie says his side need to match the attitude of opponents Arsenal in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.
The versatile 29-year-old joined the Royals at the start of the campaign from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest and has helped the men from Berkshire reach the last four of the FA Cup.
We’re also in the semi-final, we’ve got this far, it isn’t our final.
And his strike in a 3-0 sixth round replay win over Bradford City came at the end of a run of five goals in six games, which has given Mackie confidence for the challenge of trying to see off the Gunners.
He told the Chronicle: “Arsenal will be going into this game thinking it’s a semi-final as they want to win the competition and we have to be the same. We’re also in the semi-final, we’ve got this far, it isn’t our final.
“I see it as a test and something different from our league. I loved playing in the Premier League and I want to do that again.
“You need to show that you can play in the FA Cup against top players and cope with it. I’m sure I can. I’ve played well against big teams before and scored a few goals, so I’m relishing it and can’t wait for the day.”
Scotland international Mackie, who made his name with Exeter City and Plymouth Argyle, has previously played in the top-flight for two seasons with Queens Park Rangers.
He faces a fight to start against the Gunners, with Russia frontman Pavel Pogrebnyak fit again following a calf problem.
Reading can be backed at 15.00 to win the semi-final in 90 minutes and are 34.00 to triumph by a 1-0 scoreline in normal time, while they are 6.00 to reach the FA Cup final for the first time in their history.
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