Writer: Chris Kitley
Date:Monday January 14 2008
After a great deal of criticism regarding Reading's attitude towards the FA Cup, Royals' Head of Communications Andy West, has illustrated just how important the competition is to the club.
Despite suggestions that they didn't take the competition seriously, the Royals battled to a well earned two all draw at White Hart Lane last week and should they beat Spurs in the replay tomorrow, they will be rewarded with a trip to Manchester United in the next round.
West told the official club site, 'We could win it. Of course it's unlikely and no team outside the 'big four' has lifted the trophy since 1995, but Millwall, Southampton and West Ham have reached the final in recent years, so why not Reading?'
Although people within the club have suggested that concentrating on the league is more important than the cup, West feels that the cup could be the next step as the club continues to grow.
He said, 'It could be argued that, along with consolidating our league status, winning a significant competition is the next major step in the continued development of Reading FC- we've got a new stadium, we've got Premier League status, now lets win something.'
As well as the lure of actually winning something, West believes that the competition for places at the club means that the Reading cup team will be a match for anyone.
He continued, 'The FA Cup is the perfect opportunity to give them (the fringe players) a chance to play and state their case for inclusion every week.
'All those players were absolutely desperate to play at White Hart Lane. More than that, they believe they should be in the team every week and approached the game with a mission.
'Yes, the team was much-changed, but weakened? Try telling Leroy Lita that he is 'weaker' than Kevin Doyle or Dave Kitson.
'Those factors combined to guarantee 100% commitment, resulting in the determined display that earned a draw at White Hart Lane'.
With a similar line-up expected to be announced for the replay on Tuesday night, an upset could well be on the cards.
West summed it up by saying, 'Don't worry about our attitude to the FA Cup. We care intensely about the competition, and the replay against Spurs is a fixture we are hugely looking forward to and will be giving everything to win'.
With a refreshingly positive attitude coming from the club, the FA Cup is still apparently on their list of priorities and with a near sell-out crowd expected for tomorrow's game, it appears the spirit of the FA Cup is very much alive amongst the Reading fans.
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Date:Monday January 14 2008
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