Shorey: 'It will be amazing to be back at the Madejski'By Jonny Fordham
August 14, 2012
Nicky Shorey is still pinching himself as he gets ready for his sixth season of Premier League football.
The left-back made his name at Madejski Stadium and was a star of Steve Coppell’s record-breaking Royals in 2005/06 as they secured promotion to the top-flight with 106 points.
After leaving the club for Aston Villa, Shorey believes that he has returned a wiser player.
“It’s weird that the last six seasons now I’ve been plying my trade in the Premier League,” confessed the 31-year-old.
“Hopefully I can help the lads to stay on an even keel. You can quite easily lose two games on the bounce in this league.
“But you have to be right when you come back to it for the next game to try and get the three points.
“Things are moving forward. It’s nice for the club to be back in the Premier League and to get back like they have is an amazing achievement.
“I was impressed by Reading’s resilience in the Championship. You need to grind out results week in week out and sometimes when you’re not playing well you still need to get results.
“Everyone admired the way that Reading did that last year.
“It will be amazing to get back on the pitch at Madejski Stadium.
“I enjoyed so many years there. It will be a bit of a funny feeling as well, but one that I’m looking forward to.”
Royals have just four days to prepare for their Premier League showdown with Stoke City.
The Potters finished 14th last season and Shorey believes Royals face a battle against Tony Pulis’ physical unit before going on to play Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.
“It’s not ideal,” said the defender.
“The good thing is that the first game is at home and we can get the fans behind us, get a positive performance and the points will hopefully come after.
“At West Brom last year we had Chelsea and Man United early on and lost the first few games.
“We performed well, though, so we took the performances out of the games, pushed on and did well.”
Shorey faces a battle for a strating position with Ian Harte – the man who has been named in the Championship XI for the past two consecutive seasons.
The 34-year-old looks to have the upper hand at the moment, but Shorey knows that Brian McDermott will give everyone the chance to prove themselves.
He added: “Hartey has done ever so well in the past two years at Reading and it will be a good fight for the place.
“I’m optimistic that I will get a chance to try and do well.
“We’re all in it together and it’s a long season. I know as well as anyone that you don’t get to play all the time and you just have to be ready when you get the chance.”
I think we are similar players passing wise and with set-pieces. I don’t think there will too much of a change when either of us play.