Aussies Abroad: Federici keeps it clean

Adam Federici has continued to shine for reading as they search for promotion to the rich English Premier League.

Adam Federici continued to play an important role in Reading's push for promotion to the Barclays Premier League next season with some crucial saves in a 2-0 win at Middlesbrough.

Australia's No.2 goalkeeper had a busy day at the Riverside but ended with his fifth-straight clean sheet and 16th for the season.

Federici had his hands full in northern England, having to repel compatriot and Middlesbrough utility Rhys Williams twice in the second half.

The victory put Reading just four points away from one of the two automatic promotion spots for next season.

With manager Brian McDermott tied to a new contract and new wealthy Russian backers, the mood at Reading is understandably buoyant.

There has been plenty of speculation in recent seasons about Premier League clubs circling for Federici's signature. However, he has remained at the Royals and McDermott said the Aussie was a perfect role model for his younger teammates.

"I've known Feds (Federici) since he first came over here. He works really, really, really hard and he practises so much. He practises every single day," McDermott said.

"He lives his life right, everything he does is about him being as good as he possibly can and he's a good role model for the other players."

Meanwhile, Mile Jedinak played a prominent role as Crystal Palace maintained their nPower Championship promotion push with a 0-0 draw at high-flying West Ham United.

Shane Lowry conceded a last-minute penalty but it hardly mattered as his side, Millwall, beat Burnley 3-1 to edge clear of the relegation zone.

Not even the presence of Neil Kilkenny could prevent Bristol City stumbling towards the drop zone after a 3-1 home loss to Blackpool.

In the Barclays Premier League, Mark schwarzer kept a clean sheet as Fulham pulled further away from trouble with a 1-0 win over QPR.

Chris Herd will have to wait another week to make his comeback from injury after he was an unused substitute for Aston Villa in their 0-0 draw with Wigan Athletic.

Brett Holman was replaced after 84 minutes as AZ Alkmaar came from behind to force a 3-3 draw with Herenveen in the Eredivisie.

Nikita Rukavytsya was a 53rd minute substitute but he couldn't prevent Hertha Berlin crashing to a 3-0 defeat to Augsburg in the Bundesliga while Mathew Leckie failed to get off the bench for Borussia Monchengladbach in their 1-1 draw with Hamburg.

Mitch Langerak continues to play second-fiddle to Roman Wiedenfeller at Borussia Dortmund but the young Aussie goalkeeper could yet be a part of a championship-winning team after a 3-1 win over Hannover extended their lead to four points.