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Hope: The best for Reading

1 March 2013

Akpan on his return to Goodison Park

Hope Akpan is excited to return to his boyhood club when the Royals take on Everton on Saturday, but says that all of his focus will be on getting the right result for Reading.

The 21-year-old graduated from the Toffees Academy, the team he supported as a boy, but any supporting allegiances will be put to one side as the Royals aim to pick up points in Merseyside.

"Going back to where I started my career from a young age will be exciting, but I'm a Reading player now and I just want to do the best I can for this club," said the midfielder.

"At the end of the day it's just another game. I've got to go out with the same mentality as I try and do every day. It's a massive game for Reading Football Club - we're in the position we are and we need to get out of there. We need the points more than anything so I'm putting all that aside and I'm concentrating on doing the best I can for Reading.

"Every game you go into you have to have the belief that you can get the points from the game. Everton are a strong side through the whole team and the squad so we've got to come with our game plan and make sure we implement ourselves on them.

"We built some good momentum a couple of weeks back - we got a few good results back to back, that's the way you pick up points so I think we need to hopefully get a good result here and then go into the Villa game off the back of a good result.

Hope has been a Royal for almost two months now - and says he's enjoying life in the Barclays Premier League with Reading under the management of Brian McDermott.

"I'm loving life at Reading. There's a lot of differences between the leagues but I'd like to think I've done well in making the step up. The Premier League is the best league with the best players but it is a totally different style of football than the lower leagues. In some cases it is easier to adjust to that but I'm not taking anything for granted, I'm just working hard to be the best I can.

"I came in with the mentality that I was going to do the best I can every day in training and prove that I am a good player. I wanted to take my chance whenever I was thrown in - and so far, so good really.

"He's (Brian McDermott) a great guy, he gets his point across well. The things he's told me to do I've tried to implement them in the games - and so far it's been really good."

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