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All Eyes on Ireland

With Reading's Irish contingent, it's no wonder that Royals fans will probably be more interested in Republic of Ireland's game against Georgia than England's nothing match away to Andorra.

The Royals have a trio of players in the squad that travels to Karlsruhe in Germany to play Georgia, with Stephen Hunt and Kevin Doyle set to start and Shane Long having to settle for a place on the bench.

Hunt and Doyle had been linked with moves away from the club but nothing materialised on transfer deadline day. Hunt in particular was disappointed and not being able to move clubs, despite the revelation that were in fact no bids for him on Monday following a reported swoop from Everton.

The duo will now get a chance to put their transfer disappointment behind them as they look to get ROI's World Cup qualifying campaign off to a flying start.

Winger Hunt has been given the perfect opportunity to prove himself in the absence of Damien Duff and he is determined to make the position his.

'What I have got to do is keep my standards as high as I can and score as many goals as I can and be in the headlines as much as I possibly can between now and the end of the season, and then in World Cup year, be in the Premier League with Reading or without Reading.

'I understand fully how the manager wants me to play, and I think it suits my game.

'Whether he has seen enough of me to know that is another thing, but it suits me the way he wants me to play in terms of helping the full-back out. Just ask Nicky Shorey.

'It is an opportunity. I came in halfway through the last campaign, four or five games into it when we were dead and buried.

'I am hoping we start off a good campaign and in two years' time, I will be at a World Cup in the starting XI. I am looking forward to the next couple of games.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Chris Kitley Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday September 5 2008

Time: 3:43PM


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