Writer: Chris Kitley
Date:Tuesday June 17 2008
Young Reading defender Alex Pearce believes the club has got what it takes to bounce straight back into the Premier League.
The 19 year-old, who had loan spells at League 1 Bournemouth and Championship side Norwich last season, feels the Royals have the ability to repeat their Championship winning heroics from a few years ago.
Pearce, a product of the Reading academy, is looking to force his way into the Royals team this season and help them achieve what he believes to be a realistic target of going straight back up.
He said, 'It is a competitive league. Teams have struggled to bounce back up but I feel we can because Reading have been there and done it in the Championship.
'We got 106 points just a couple of years ago and broke the record so we know exactly what is required. We certainly have the ability and it`s just a question of applying the right attitude.
'The mentality at the club is strong and we will remain positive and confident we can go straight back up.
'There is a difference in quality. I have not really played in the Premier League
but the people who have, tell me that`s the main difference with the Championship.
'There are obviously some very good players in the Championship but it`s a physical league.
'I played in some tough games for Norwich against teams like Watford and Stoke, who bombard you with the long ball.
'I`m not sure what they have got planned for the Premier League, but they have been
successful with the way they play and it works for them.'
Pearce believes his loan spells of last season have improved him as a player and given him a vital taste of life in the Championship.
He continued, 'Reading wanted to keep me, but I was happy to go to Norwich and play games and get some experience under my belt.
'I still have a lot to learn about the game and I still have a lot of developing to do but I am eager to learn more.
'Playing in the Championship has been great and I feel I am a better player now that I have had some games.
'Before going to Norwich I`d had a few run-outs in League 1 (with Bournemouth) but the step up to the Championship has really been of benefit to me - it was a real opportunity.
'I was desperate for Reading to stay up, like everyone was. I was watching the results on the last day and to win 4-0 against Derby and still go down is devastating, but what is done is done and we have got to move on. Hopefully for me I can now force my way into the team.'
Pearce is one of the brightest talents to come through the academy in recent years, and along with fellow graduate James Henry, is widely expected to make his mark on the first team this season.
Date:Tuesday June 17 2008
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