Chris on Newport cup tieShortly after the Royals were drawn to play Newport County in the first round of the Capital One Cup, readingfc.co.uk spoke to Chris Gunter, who was born and grew up in Newport, about the tie.
Chris, what was your reaction to the Capital One Cup draw - a first round tie against your hometown club?
Well the other day I was looking on Reading's website at the teams we could have got - and Newport would have definitely been the one I would have chosen. I would have preferred it to be at their ground but it's great that it's against them.
I haven't come across Newport yet, only played against them for Cardiff in a Wales U18s game, so I'm looking forward to it - I had quite a few texts when the news came in!
Newport was the place of your birth and where you grew up I believe, so it must be quite special?
Yes, I was born in Newport and lived there until I left Cardiff for Spurs when I was 19. I've got family and friends that live there, and for some reason my old school is naming a new gym after me! That's opening in September and I'll be going back there for then - so I've got plenty of links in Newport.
The Capital One Cup must be a tournament you like playing in, you have some good memories - including scoring for the Royals against Peterborough?
For sure, I've got good memories of this Cup. I scored my first goal - well - my only goal for Reading! I also made my debut for Cardiff in this tournament and, although I was cup-tied for it, I was at Tottenham when they won the Cup in 2009. This season, it would be nice to have a long run at Reading.
And the fixtures for the Sky Bet Championship are announced on Wednesday, any preference?
It would be nice to have a home start, but there's really no preference. Last season I was looking out especially for when we play Forest, and now I'll look for Cardiff - another former club. It'll be nice to play them and also see Alfie again, but I have no preference.
As players, as soon as the fixtures come in we also scan through them and get excited - that's when it hits home that the season is not far away and very soon we'll be back training for pre-season. It will great to see the fans back for that first home game, filling up the stadium.