Hands off Jimmy KebeBy Jonny Fordham
April 01, 2011
Brian McDermott has warned Leicester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson that Reading have no intention of selling Jimmy Kebe.
Leicester expressed an interest in Royals’ star winger and have been considering making a £2million bid in the summer.
But McDermott laughed off suggestions that Kebe will be leaving for Reading’s Championship rivals.
Kebe, who has six goals and six assists in 36 games so far this season, has been transformed into one of the league’s most deadly attacking threats.
And McDermott will be anxious to tie him down to a new deal long before his contract expires at the end of next season.
Royals’ boss said: “Jimmy Kebe is an important player for us and Jimmy Kebe should play for Brian McDermott. “There is absolutely no doubt about that in my opinion. I have a really good relationship with Jimmy and in my view we work well together.
“He’s exciting to watch and can do what a lot of people can’t. The other side to his game has also improved as he can get back and do his defensive job – he’s a real team player.”
McDermott, who was handed a pay rise by chairman Sir John Madejski this week for his astounding work over the past 14 months, now has nine games to get Reading into the play-offs.
That run starts against Portsmouth at Madejski Stadium tomorrow (3pm kick-off), the first of eight games in the space of 29 days this month.
“The most important thing now is Portsmouth and we want to make the most of these last nine games,” said the 49-year-old boss. “There’s no point looking at the summer and people coming in for our players. We’re going to get that anyway.”
Royals’ last home game was an emphatic 5-2 win over Middlesbrough on March 2.
The visit of Pompey will see former Royals striker Dave Kitson return to Madejski Stadium for the first time since he rejoined the club on loan from Stoke City almost two years ago.
And McDermott added: “I speak to Kits quite regularly as he lives quite close to me so I know him well.
“He was a fantastic player for us and was a bargain signing at the time, who did really well for our club.
“Portsmouth have got Ibrahima Sonko too and the pair are Reading legends really having played in that side that won the league.”