Nigel Adkins expects no old pals act from Norwich City’s Gary Hooper

Reading boss Nigel Adkins is wary of Gary Hooper's threat. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images L

Reading boss Nigel Adkins is wary of Gary Hooper's threat. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Nigel Adkins needs no reminder of Gary Hooper's predatory threat ahead of a potential Carrow Road reunion.

The Reading boss forged his early managerial career at Scunthorpe, where he twice guided the Iron into the Championship, thanks in no small part to Hooper's prolific spell at Glanford Park.

Hooper notched his first Norwich City goal of the season last weekend in a second half cameo to rescue a point against Brighton and Adkins would not be upset to see the striker kept in reserve.

'He's had one shot and scored one goal this season. He's obviously a player that I had at Scunthorpe, he did well up at Celtic and although it didn't quite go for him last season he's an exceptional football player and a terrific goalscorer,' said Adkins.

'They've got a big squad of players and have massive threats. If you look at the charts they head them up in many aspects. There's a good contest to be had at Carrow Road and it's one that we've got to aim to get three points from. As a team we need to keep the ball out the back of the net and we need to improve what we do in both boxes.'

Adkins has had to dismiss mounting speculation over his own long term future at the Royals after presiding over two wins in the last 11 league games.

'I know that deep down I look in the mirror and know that I work hard in my trade, I work hard to improve myself and all the individuals I come into contact with. That's why I'm very positive,' he told his club's official site. 'This experience is invaluable for me and my future as a manager.

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'This is where you learn. I hate losing. We love what we do, we're passionate about what we do. Of course I know it's a results-driven business but I'm very consistent in everything I do; never too high, never too low. I know I come to work at eight in the morning, I work long hours, I have hard-working staff and we challenge the players everyday to improve as much as they can as individuals and as a group. I don't hide away from anything.'