Midfielder back in actionHope Akpan has signalled his delight at returning to action in midweek, after almost three months on the sidelines following a dislocated shoulder.
The Nigerian international played all 120 minutes for the Royals u21s in a dramatic 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town, as Martin Kuhl’s men secured their passage to the Barclays u21 Premier League Cup semi-finals.
“I’m very happy to be back and playing in a competitive game. It felt very good,” said Akpan.
“I’ve got a long way to go to get back to where I was before I got injured but I’m ready to work hard to build towards that peak. The extra minutes are all in the bank now and the shoulder feels fine and strong. It’s a bit stiff having just played but it feels alright.”
Hope was joined by Mikkel Andersen, Jure Travner and Jem Karacan for the clash, with competition rules allowing three overage outfield players and one goalkeeper.
“We didn’t want to come into the u21s side and let them down after they had put in all this effort to get this far. We’re defending champions, so we had to be on our game and luckily we did enough to reach the next round. I’m just going to keep working hard and strive to get towards the level that I set earlier in the season. I want to impress the gaffer and I can do that by working hard in training.”