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Clarke may book holiday if Reading beat Cup holders Arsenal

16 April 2015, 18:45

London - Steve Clarke will have time to unwind and book himself a holiday if Reading spring a surprise and knock holders Arsenal out of the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.

The English Championship finishes on May 2 and the FA Cup final is on May 30 so with Reading unable to make the promotion playoffs, they would have nearly a month to prepare.

Clarke is frustrated his players could be left twiddling their thumbs if they knock Arsenal out.

"When we beat Arsenal, we have to wait four weeks after our last league game to play the Cup final," Clarke told reporters.

"There wasn't a slip of the tongue there. Four weeks? I'll probably need to go on holiday for two of those and then bring the team back in. It's a long break.

"If we get to the final, what are we going to do from May 2 to May 30? What do we do? Everyone else has played, so we won't be playing games.

"It would be a great puzzle to have though. Let's talk about it on Saturday night."

Reading, who have dropped to 18th in the Championship and are without a win in their last five league matches, reached an FA Cup semi-final for the first time in 88 years after beating League One side Bradford City in a quarter-final replay.

Holders Arsenal, winners of 16 of their last 18 matches in all competitions and who have never lost to Reading, are massive favourites to reach the final.

Clarke, who won the FA Cup as a player and a coach with Chelsea, said he does not get "too carried away with the favourite and underdog tags" but is hoping the in-form Gunners have an off day at Wembley.

"I've had lots of experiences at Wembley," Clarke told Jack FM. "Semis are all about winning. It's not a game you like to lose because the losers of semi-finals get forgotten about.

"Saturday is a game of football -- 11 v 11. On the day, we have to hope that Arsenal are not at their best because if they are then it will be very difficult for us.

"If Arsenal are a bit below their best, and we play as well as we can then, in football, you never know."

According to Kenya Red Cross personnel on the ground who spoke to News24 on phone, three persons have already been found dead and 38 rescued.

The bus was carrying 60 people at the time of the incident Thursday morning.

The bus which was headed to Nairobi apparently got stuck in the mud as it crossed a seasonal river at Gadudia. and was then swept by floods together with its passengers.

" We have several casualties. We have been able to rescue 38 and we are hopefully going to save some more once the flood waters recede," Red Cross Ahmed Mohammed told News24 on phone.

Mandera County Commissioner Alex ole Nkoyo told News24, also on phone that the bus companies had been warned of taking the trip to Nairobi because of the prevailing weather conditions.

" This was the only bus travelling on the route. The others did not travel because they feared the weather, he said.

" We hope that we are able to save as many as possible but there is the possibility of multiple casualties, he added.

The region is prone to flash floods and deaths are not uncommon even though this is the first incident of its type in the region in some time.

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- Reuters


Matic: This was the real Chelsea

24 October 2016, 21:02

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