Zingarevich visit gave Reading FC squad a boostBy Jonny Fordham
July 27, 2012
Anton Zingarevich's presence at Reading’s pre-season training camp in Portugal has given the squad a boost, says skipper Jobi McAnuff.
Royals’ multi-millionaire owner spent several days with manager Brian McDermott and his players in the Algarve before flying home on Wednesday.
Zingarevich also spent time networking with Sheffield Wednesday chairman Milan Mandaric, who is hoping to buy Reading winger Michail Antonio.
McAnuff said: “It has been brilliant having Anton out here and you can see he has enjoyed it too.
“He became a bit more involved towards the end of last season and I enjoy having him around and so do the rest of the boys.
“He wants to be involved and be around us. It’s great. It’s nice to build up that relationship with him.
“It’s great for us to see him like that. He doesn’t walk around the place like he’s the big boss and he fits in just like everyone else.”
Zingarevich wore a Royals polo shirt and shorts as he watched training sessions with boss McDermott.
When Zingarevich took over from Sir John Madejski as Reading’s majority shareholder in May, some fans expressed concern that he might follow a similar style of ownership to Chelsea supremo Roman Abramovich.
However, McAnuff has assured fans that Zingarevich is a different character to his compatriot and the Reading winger cannot see the 30-year-old trying to impose his wishes on player transfers or team selections like other millionaire owners in the game.
McAnuff said: “From what I’ve seen of him and his role here, he’s definitely not going down that route.
“He’s here because he wants to be around the place, not to tell people to do this or that. It’s still very clear in terms of who is in charge of what we are doing out on the pitch.
“I’m sure he and the gaffer will have discussions, but that’s between them. Around the place he’s just been pretty chilled and down to earth like the rest of us.”