Reading celebrate “dream” promotion

Reading’s players are celebrating a “dream come true” after winning promotion to the Premier League.

Brian McDermott’s side secured promotion from the Championship thanks to Mikele Leigertwood’s late winner at home to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night.

And Reading captain Jobi McAnuff summed up the mood, telling Sky Sports News: “Basically it’s a dream come true.

“To finally do it and lead the boys up is a great achievement.

“It’s been a real team effort; everyone at the club has been fantastic and put in a massive effort.

“It’s where everyone wants to be. It’ll be great to go up there and test ourselves against the best players and at the best grounds.

“We can’t wait for next season now. I wish it would come tomorrow.”

Jason Roberts has played a key role in the Royals’ push for promotion – winning 14 of his 16 games for the club since arriving in January from Blackburn. 

And the experienced striker expressed a desire to go on and seal the title, possibly as soon as Saturday’s home fixture against Crystal Palace.

The 34-year-old said: “It means so much for this group of players that worked so hard last season (only) to fall at the final hurdle in the play-offs.

“You saw their character this season (with) what they’ve achieved. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of it.

“It’s a special group. I’ve been involved with some special groups over the years and this is up there with the best of them.

“We’ll enjoy tonight and on Saturday we’ll go on and win it (the title) because that’s what I want to do – that’s what we want to do – that’s our ambition.”

Asked about the job done by McDermott, Roberts added: “He’s absolutely outstanding, what he’s done with this group of players and more importantly the characters he brings into the club. He makes sure they’re the right people.”

Ian Harte is one of those people after being plucked from Carlisle in League One at the start of last season.

The former Leeds full-back is now set for a return to the Premier League after playing just eight games there in the last eight years and the 34-year-old echoed Roberts’ desire to go on and win the title.

“I’m absolutely chuffed,” said Harte. “There’s a great bunch of lads here and a great togetherness and hopefully we’ll go on and win the league.

“I’m sure it’ll be a big party here on Saturday and hopefully we’ll get another three points and win the league.”