Simon Church puts Reading FC firstBy Jonny Fordham
March 16, 2012
Simon Church has put all thoughts for himself aside for the sake of Reading’s promotion push.
Like any international footballer, all Church wants to do is play week-in week-out for Royals, but the striker has had to be content with just 17 starts this season and another eight substitute appearances.
Although he is the club’s joint top-scorer with seven goals, along with Adam Le Fondre, the 23-year-old is still behind Jason Roberts and Noel Hunt in the pecking order.
“It’s been frustrating on a personal level, but the team are doing really well and Noel and Jason have been fantastic,” said Church.
“It’s tough, but at this stage of the season it’s not about individuals, it’s about the team. I have to try to do my best to help this team get promoted.
“The way the gaffer handles people who are not in the squad is second to none.
“A lot of people in football are quite selfish and want their career to be flying, but for us, we all have the same goal.
“We all want to be Premier League players next year and I’m no different. I want to be playing at the highest level and for me to achieve that I have to keep doing my best whenever I get the chance.”
Second-placed Reading (67 points) can improve their promotion chances by winning at Barnsley tomorrow. Leaders Southampton (69) are away to Millwall and third placed West Ham United (66) face a tough trip to Elland Road to take on Neil Warnock’s Leeds United.
“We want maximum points in every game we play and it felt like two dropped against Doncaster,” admitted Church.
“Everyone was disappointed and we thought we could have taken more. It will be tough going to Barnsley, as it always is, but hopefully we can do it.
“You can’t keep looking at the table. We have 10 games left, things have been going well and we want to keep going until the end.
“We want automatic promotion and want to go to the top – we have to keep winning games to do that.”
And Church, who has been rooming with Le Fondre on away trips, revealed that the two super-subs are keeping each other’s spirits up.
“He’s a top guy. He can be a bit boring at times, though, as he’s always playing Football Manager,” joked Church.
“We get on really well and he tries to dig me out on Twitter, but it doesn’t really work to be honest.
“We know what the situation is and it’s all about being positive and keeping our heads up.
“Even the players who aren’t involved in the squad are lively around the training ground and it’s a positive environment.”