Mikele Leigertwood relishing West Ham scrapBy Jonny Fordham
March 30, 2012
Midfield enforcer Mikele Leigertwood has vowed to fight until the last minute in Reading’s battle at West Ham.
The 29-year-old is relishing Royals’ trip to Upton Park in what is their biggest game of the season so far.
West Ham have registered five draws in their last five home games and are clearly feeling the pressure having been over-taken by Brian McDermott’s side.
However, Leigertwood knows that the Hammers will not give up in the chase for automatic promotion.
“If it takes 20 minutes or 80 minutes we have to fight and scrap until an opening comes,” said Leigertwood.
“We never shy away from a challenge and we will be relishing it.
“Jem and me have worked well since I have come here and we have done well against big teams. We’re looking to do exactly that tomorrow.
“There will be a lot of people looking at this game expecting someone to slip up, but hopefully that’s not us.
Clearly enjoying their run, Reading’s camp paints a contrasting picture to that of their east London rivals where the Hammers fans have been berating their team and manager for most of the season.
But even though a point might be seen by Royals fans as a positive result, Leigertwood refused to accept that as Reading’s target.
“We need all three points and our intent will show,” he declared.
“We’ve never gone into a game thinking about getting a point. We want three points wherever we go – home or away.
“I don’t feel like we are underdogs and I think there is a lot of pressure on them, especially being at home.
“We just have to concentrate on our own game and we know they will be physical and we will have to match them.
“If we can do that we can frustrate their players and maybe the crowd and that will work against them.”
The Hammers have spent big in their quest to bounce straight back into the top-flight – signing Premier League players on big wages.
It could be argued that Royals can now compete with their rivals due to the in-coming investment from Russian millionaire Anton Zingarevich, but Leigertwood also knows that you can’t put a price on experience.
He explained: “Kaspars Gorkss has been here before and he has vital experience.
“Robbo (Jason Roberts) has been in the Prem for most of his career. Jobi (McAnuff) and I have played loads of games at this level and we have a lot of experience.
“Even the young lads like Jem Karacan, Pearcey (Alex Pearce) and Shaun Cummings have shown that they have learned from their experiences with Reading and that will help in our promotion push.”