Date:Friday March 16 2007
Royals new boy Greg Halford is hoping to make his long-awaited debut should skipper Graeme Murty not be available for tomorrow`s visitors Portsmouth.
Club captain and first choice right-back Murty has been struggling with a toe injury as of late, and his inclusion in tomorrow`s squad is in question. With Halford`s only appearances in a Reading shirt so far having been at reserve level, the club`s record signing is hoping to get the nod over Ulises De La Cruz should the need arise.
The England Under-21 international cost Reading Ł2m from Colchester in January, and his new boss Steve Coppell has admitted he is in contention. Halford`s versatility means he can play in a number of different positions, but since his move to the Madejski Stadium, talk of his role as a right-back has been predominant.
Coppell said, 'He is in contention if Murty doesn't make it but right-back is probably the healthiest position I have got,' said the Royals boss.
'I'm sure Greg is desperate to make his debut but when he signed I said he wasn't a 14-game signing, he was a three or four-year prospect.
'We defend in a certain way and it is hard just to drop in there.
'You need to do the groundwork to become part of the group and he is obviously getting very close to that point.
'He was bought to play, not sit on the sidelines but sometimes you have got to be patient.'
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