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"A great professional and a fantastic athlete"

Clement praises bionic man Gunter for completing ninety minutes on his first team return!

30 August 2018

For both club and country, Chris Gunter played 58 times last season. The year before, he played 59! The year before that...66!

He is now the most-capped outfield player for Wales, earning 88 caps - a tally which could take him to 90 (two behind the Welsh record-holder Neville Southall) should he feature against the Republic of Ireland and Denmark during the upcoming international break.

And as a Royal, he started every one of our 46 league games in 2017-18. He also started every one of our 46 league games in 2016-17.

So when the Royals' right-back picked up an injury in our final pre-season clash of the summer at home to Crystal Palace, the first team squad understandably felt a little strange without him.

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But, with only 45 minutes of action under his belt - played in our Under-23s win at the weekend - Gunter churned out another ninety minutes against Premier League Watford on his comeback last night.

"It’s a real credit to Chris and the kind of athlete he is," the manager said.

"Having missed a significant amount of time, he came straight in and was able to deliver 90 minutes…no problem.

"There are a lot of other players who would come in and can't get up to speed quick enough and then you have to substitute them and it takes more time.

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"Maybe you hear that they can only do 60, or maybe other players have to come off at half-time, or can’t even play because they are still struggling a little bit.

"Chris just gets on with it. He’s very robust.

"He missed 5-6 weeks of games with this injury, did his rehab, pushed himself and completed 90 minutes no problem.

"I was really pleased with him. He’s a fantastic professional, a great trainer and other players have got to aspire to being that kind of athlete, where you can just roll out games no problem."


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