Right-back chats after signing on the lineChris Gunter discussed his pleasure at signing a new deal with the Royals after signing on the dotted line on a deal to keep him at Reading until 2018 on Thursday evening.
The Welsh international has been the Royals’ only ever-present this season – albeit a cut above the eye against Hull meant he couldn’t see out the final few minutes, with all subs used – and took his appearance tally to 150 starts for Reading last weekend against Burnley.
“I’m really happy – it’s always nice to get things sorted and your future sorted out for the next couple of years,” Gunter said. “I’m really pleased; not that I wasn’t before, but it just puts to bed any doubts and I can look forward now to the next couple of years and focus on football.
“When you join a club, you have to try to buy in to where you are. I don’t think I’ll ever be a player that will enjoy moving from club to club every year or two, because I think it’s important that you get to really know where you are. If you lead a stable life off the pitch, that allows you come Saturday afternoon to perform at your best.
“I’ve had a really good three years and counting here now – I’m pleased that I can look forward to another couple at least and hopefully have some more good memories. I think it’s nice for fans and people around that club when you see players that stay for a long length of time.
“At the weekend it was my 150th start for the club – you take great pride in that. You’re a footballer to play games and turn up every Saturday and Tuesday night to play. I’d like to think the club have got some good value out of me, and I’ve certainly got some good value out of the club as well.”
Now that any speculation about his future is over, the focus can return to football. And the Royals right-back wants to ensure that his legacy with the club is as someone that left nothing in the tank.
“If on the day that I leave this football club, the fans can turn round and say: ‘what did Chris Gunter give us as a player?’ and they can reply, ‘every game, you knew what you were going to get,’ then I’ll leave this club a happy man,” he continued.
“Unless you’re Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, no player can guarantee the quality of your performance from week to week. The one thing you can control as a player is the effort you give and your attitude – not just what the fans see on a Saturday, but through the week. I think a massive part of being a footballer is in the preparation and the life you lead.
“I think that’s massively important, and I would never give anyone the ammunition to label me as someone that didn’t give my all when they came to watch Reading. If you do that, and you then rely on your quality as a player, then hopefully it’s a formula that will work.”