Defender glad to be back in action for RoyalsOne of the big positives to have come out of this pre-season for Reading so far has been the renewed level of involvement of Anton Ferdinand.
The former QPR, Sunderland and West Ham centre-back was kept on the sidelines for the majority of last season through injury, and after a 90-minute run out in last Friday’s draw against Premier League high-flyers Swansea, Ferdinand got more time on the pitch by playing the first half against Crawley Town on Monday.
After a difficult season in 2014/15, with only one first team start due to his injury troubles, Ferdinand believes a good pre-season is vital in for him to have a successful year this time round.
“It’s nice to be out on the pitch playing and getting involved, and getting minutes into my legs and body,” explained the defender. “Last year was a very frustrating season for me, so let’s hope that’s behind me. For myself and some of the other lads, getting minutes on the pitch is what we need.
“I think it’s going to take a few competitive games for me to feel like my normal self. But I’m in the best shape at the moment that I have been for a while. My body is prepared for the battles and the vigorous games that are coming soon.
“I’m confident in my ability, and I’m confident that if I’m given the opportunity to play and if I stay fit, then I’ll be able to show people what I’m about.”
Reading have their final match of pre-season on Saturday facing La Liga outfit Espanyol, a match in which Ferdinand will hope to feature. And with the new additions into the squad this summer continuing to bed in, he is looking forward to continuing preparation against the Catalan side this weekend ahead of the big kick-off against Birmingham City on August 8th.
“A lot of new players have come in and the team spirit is very good,” continued Ferdinand. “That can only bode well for the season. All new teams take a while to gel, but hopefully within the next two weeks you’ll see us do that and we’ll hit the ground running.
“I played the full match against Swansea and a half against Crawley, and I felt like I could have played a bit more. But with our game coming up against Espanyol on Saturday, I’m hopeful of getting some more minutes under my belt then as well. I’m looking forward to playing at the Madejski again, and they are a very good technical teamn who will test our shape and test us technically, so we need to be ready for that.
“It is a blessing for me that I’ve played part of every game this pre-season, and it has definitely been good for my body and mind. But it has been a long time since I’ve been involved competitively, so I can’t wait for the league season to kick off and I’m champing at the bit to get back to action.”