Reading full-back ready for battle at Madejski Stadium
Royals defender Chris Gunter is keen to create more cup memories this season ahead of Reading’s fifth round clash with West Brom at Madejski Stadium.
The Baggies stand in the way of a place in the quarter-final of the famous competition, and after a taste of Wembley last season in the semi-final, Gunter is keen for more this year.
“The games come around quite quickly at this stage and if we can get through we find ourselves in the back end of the competition,” said Gunter. “We want to create another run this season to be remembered alongside last year, it would be great to progress and get back into that position.”
Gunter feels there is some unfinished business for the Royals in the cup and that this year presents as good an opportunity as any to try and go as far in the tournament as possible.
“Last year it all happened quite quickly, before we knew it we were playing Bradford for a place in the semi-final. It was great to play at Wembley and was a real achievement, but there will always be that feeling of what could have been. We played really well on the day in the semi-final and we were massively unlucky not to progress,” reflected the 26-year-old.
For Reading to make it through to the next stage, the Welsh international knows the team will have to stick to their game plan and is expecting a real battle against the Baggies in a big game atmosphere at the Mad Stad.
“When a playing a good team, like West Brom are, you have to stick to a game plan and we need to play well. We need to focus on our performance and doing what we’re good at, hopefully that’s enough to see us through, but it’s going to be a very tough game,” commented Gunter.
“We want to use those big games from last year to help us get through this year, the thought of playing in front of a big crowd at home and in a big match is why we play the game.”
Gunter thinks home advantage can work in the Royals’ favour and wants to build on some strong defensive displays at Madejski Stadium in recent weeks.
“We want to use our strength at home in our favour and hopefully we can send 20,000-odd people home very happy. They will be tough to break down and defensively strong but we’ve also got two clean sheets at home in the last two to build on and if we’re on the right end of a 1-0 we will take that all day long!
“The cup is a nice distraction away from the league and hopefully the result this weekend will be a good one and help us to finish the season really strongly and I’m really confident we can do that.”