Ian Harte: Reading FC will fight to the very endBy Jonny Fordham
February 01, 2013
Ian Harte has warned Reading’s Premier League rivals that there will be no easy points on offer at Madejski Stadium.
The underdogs are fired up for their relegation battle and have now gone five league and cup games without defeat.
Brian McDermott’s side will be looking to sink their teeth into Sunderland next at the Mad Stad tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
And former Black Cats full-back Harte said: “In the first half of the season we didn’t have the best of starts, but we have given ourselves a fighting chance now.
“Long may that continue. We need to make this ground a fortress. We have made sure that any team that has come here, if they are going to go away with the three points they are really going to have to battle.
“We need to make sure we are ready to come out of the blocks quickly against Sunderland.”
After Wednesday’s dramatic late point at home to European Champions Chelsea, Reading will go into Saturday in high spirits.
“It was a fantastic point to take us out of the relegation zone and we will be out to get the three points tomorrow,” continued Harte.
“We weren’t really at the races at times during the Chelsea game and we knew we had to come back and give our best.
“When they got the second it looked like it was over and done with, but it just goes to show the fighting spirit we have.”
Supersub Adam Le Fondre was once again the man stealing all the headlines with his late brace to pile yet more pressure onto Blues’ underfire interim manager Rafa Benitez.
Royals’ ability to come back from the dead has earned them countless crucial points this season, and Harte isn’t quite sure how they manage to keep on doing it.
“Ask Alfie – he’s the one who keeps sticking them away,” he said.
“It’s amazing, I’m sure Reading will be happy because his price will be going up all the time.
“Hopefully he can continue doing that as it will help the whole team along. We just keep fighting for our lives. This is the best league in the world and we want to stay in it.
“We will go on into the 95th minute if we have to try and get the points.”
And Harte, who is out of contract in the summer, is unsure of what his future holds.
The 35-year-old added: “I’ve no idea (where I will be next year).
“The only ones who can answer that is the gaffer or the board. I’m just trying to help the team and to stay in the Premier League.
“If I could stay on I would be delighted.”