Writer: Chris Kitley
Date:Thursday May 8 2008
Former Royals 'keeper and life long fan Jamie Ashdown has promised to do all he can to help keep Reading in the Premier League.
Ashdown should keep his place in the Portsmouth line-up for Sunday`s crunch game against Fulham as David James is struggling with a slight calf injury, ahead of the club`s FA Cup final with Cardiff.
The Royals know that they will avoid relegation with a win at Derby, providing Fulham fail to win at Portsmouth.
Ashdown, who grew up supporting the Royals before making 13 appearances for the club, is determined to play his part.
He said, 'If we win, I get the chance to keep a clean sheet and if Reading stay up then it will be the perfect day.
'I definitely want them to stay up. It`s where the whole town wants them to be.
'I am a Reading supporter. I watched them as a kid with my dad and then I played for them as a schoolboy from the age of about 13. They are my club.
'I am hoping to play on Sunday and I will be desperate to keep a clean sheet.
'It will be a hard game for us and I expect Fulham to throw everything at us because they know a win will be enough to save them. It is all to play for, but I will be doing my best to do Reading a favour.
'First and foremost, though, Reading have got to do the job themselves. That`s all they can do.
'It will be a hard game, though, as Derby will want to put on a performance at home.'
Portsmouth have been off form recently, and Ashdown has put that down to the Wembley distraction.
'Of course the final has been on our mind and I guess it has been a distraction.
'Wherever we go everyone is always asking about it and saying 'good luck for the final`.
'We need a win because we don`t want to go into the Cup final on the back of four defeats.'
Ashdown, who is still popular amongst Reading fans refused to rule out an eventual return to his boyhood club.
He revealed: 'One day I might be able to come back there.
'I have always wanted to play for Reading as they are my team and I`d like to think I could be part of them again one day.'
A future return to Reading could certainly be on the cards for Ashdown, and if he makes a contribution to the Royals survial on Sunday, then I'm sure he'll be welcomed back with open arms.
Date:Thursday May 8 2008
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