McCleary on former club
Royals winger Garath McCleary spent four years with Nottingham Forest, and will come face-to-face with his former club on New Year's Day.
McCleary made some great memories for himself at Forest, and he spoke to their official matchday programme when we travelled to the City Ground earlier this season.
What are your memories of your time at Nottingham Forest? Is there a stand out game/moment for you?
I have some very good memories of my time at Forest, from being a nervous wreck making my debut against Carlisle, to picking up the player of the season award in 11/12. For obvious reasons though, the game I most enjoyed was Leeds United away. It was a surreal experience for me to score 4 goals in one game, and the match ball still takes pride of place in my living room.
What was your reason for leaving the club and do you have any regrets?
This is something I've been asked quite frequently since leaving but there was never a chance to stay as I didn't have a contract to sign. Football is a short career and without anything concrete and a family to support, I felt that it was the right time to go and the opportunity to ply my trade in the Premier League with Reading was also something that I would have found very hard to turn down. Forest are a top club who opened the door for me into professional football, I will always be grateful for that.
How are you enjoying life at Reading and what is Nigel Adkins like to work with?
I'm really enjoying things, we have a good bunch of lads and I'm also fairly local being from Oxford which is only 30 or so minutes away. I had a slow start to my career here but since the gaffer came in he's trusted me and given me a run of games and I hope to repay his faith with good performances. I feel I've improved as a player since the gaffer and his staff have taken over reigns here and that's something every player wants to do.
McCleary's fantastic goal against QPR earlier in the season.