Alex Pearce: Reading FC can win the league
April 13, 2012
Alex Pearce has challenged his Reading team mates to upset the odds by winning the league.
Before the start of the season, Royals were 10/1 to lift the Championship trophy then drifted out to around 40/1 by the start of September following four straight league defeats.
But with just four games remaining, Reading are neck and neck with Southampton at the summit and face the joint leaders at St Mary’s tonight (7.45pm kick-off,live on Sky Sports 1).
Pearce isn’t thinking about himself as a top flight player just yet, but knows Reading’s fate next season is in their own hands.
He said: “I’m only thinking about widening that gap from West Ham and if we can go above Southampton.
Can we win the league? That’s the challenge now.
“I’ll think about the Premier League when we are actually mathematically promoted.”
Pearce, now 23 years old, was just 17 when Royals gained promotion to the top flight under Steve Coppell in the 2005/06 season.
As a member of Eamonn Dolan’s flourishing Academy, the centre-back was present for every one of Reading’s home games to give him the best of footballing scholarships.
“For me, that was a fantastic education, watching that side,” he recalled.
“I was there for every home game and that was fantastic.
“There’s a few of us from that group then in the team now,so we know what it takes from watching on in 2005/06.
“To be in and around the team creating a similar side, it’s a dream.
“Coming through the ranks here at Reading, it means a lot to me. It has always been the aim to break into this team and I’m very happy here.
“It’s also a great time to be a Reading fan - things are moving forward with the takeover and it’s a pleasure to be part of it all.”
Pearce also feels that his game has developed this season having played every minute of Reading’s Championship fixtures. Known by some of his team mates as either “blockhead” or “mallet” because of his heading aerial abilities, Pearce was also keen to argue another side to his game.
“It used to be a bit of a problem of mine where by I used to try to win everything in the air and I have learnt that you can’t win everything,” he explained.
“Sometimes you have to let the striker have it and if they playback or square then your job is done. I would like to think I can do a bit more than head the ball too! My range of passing is improving as well.”
And Pearce will have to be on top of his game to shut out Saints striker Rickie Lambert, who, with 30 goals to his name already this season, is looking to add to that tally.
“Rickie Lambert is a top player and I don’t think Saints would be where they were without him,” added Pearce.
“We played at the Mad Stad earlier this season and we kept him quiet.Kaspars Gorkss and I will be looking to do the same tonight.
“They do have some good players and we will go there respecting them, but not too much. They have some quality players and at home they will be looking to show what they can do.
“You can over think things sometimes. We will just go out and play our normal game, we don’t want to psych ourselves out.”