Date:Thursday March 29 2007
Finally a return to club football! It seems like so long since Reading last played especially with such a drab performance against Pompey a fortnight ago.
Reading now look forward to Sunday`s outing to White Hart Lane, but the televised trip could end in tears with Tottenham looking ever sharper as the season has progressed.
And Reading will not have the advantage of a swaggering opponent expecting a walk in the park this time around. Reading ended a losing streak of 5games with a victory at home to Spurs back in November and after being a goal down.
Tottenham had underestimated Reading`s ability to turn games around and their never say never attitude won out as the Royals ran out 3-1 winners.
The game also spurred the Royals on to 4game unbeaten run after Martin Jol commented after the game, "You know you are in trouble when you lose to a team like Reading."
BMJ`s words will have been well and truly eaten now as Readign have proved themselves a decent competitior at Premiership level and this time around his players are wary of the threat Reading can pose.
Spurs defender Pascal Chimbonda explains that this time around Spurs` concentration will be on nothing but the game: "They beat us 3-1after us being ahead so we will need a little more concentration."
And Steve Sidwell is in agreement that Reading will not have the advantage of being the underdogs this time around:
"Maybe they underestimated us a bit the first time," Sidwell told the Evening Post. "I think everyone does that when a new team is promoted into the league.
"They don`t know how to take a new team because they`re not used to playing them. Maybe Spurs were a bit naive, but they won`t be on Sunday that`s for sure because they know what we`re about now."
And Sidwell was quick to acknowledge hwo progressively Spurs have improved into a team you don`t like playing this season:
"They have improved as well. They are a fantastic team, especially at home. White Hart Lane is a tough place to go to and get a result, especially at the moment because they are banging in a lot of goals.
"But if we go there in the right frame of mind and have the right attitude then hopefully we can come away with something."
And Sidwell acknowledged the presence of a certain Bulgarian striker who will be a big threat to the Royals hopes of a victory at White Hart:
"(Dimitar) Berbatov is fantastic. He`s a real class act and has really come into his own. He is playing with confidence, but they all are really. It is such a balanced team and they are playing together."
Sidwell continued: "At the start of the season they were playing as individuals but they are playing together, just how we play really."
"They are on that border line of the top four. It is really hard to get into that bracket, but they are definitely good enough to break into it as they showed last year.
"They have shown spells again this year that they aren`t far away, so they will be looking to finish as high up in the league as we are so it should be an intriguing game."
If you aren`t going to 'the match of the weekend` (sod Liverpool, Arsenal - its going to be a bore draw!!) tune into Spurs VS Reading live on Sky Sports 1 at 4pm.
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