Forster can't wait for Reading return
NICKY Forster can't wait for Sunday's return to Reading - because he loves scoring goals at the Madejski Stadium.The fit-again striker banged in 32 of his 63 Royals goals at the stadium built in 1998 and thoroughly enjoyed his six-year stint there.
By Derek Davis
NICKY Forster can't wait for Sunday's return to Reading - because he loves scoring goals at the Madejski Stadium.
The fit-again striker banged in 32 of his 63 Royals goals at the stadium built in 1998 and thoroughly enjoyed his six-year stint there.
But even though the 32-year-old has fond memories of his time in Berkshire, he is going with one thing in mind - adding to his goals tally, only for Ipswich this time.
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Forster said: “The thing I enjoyed most about my time at Reading was scoring goals. I'm looking forward to going back there because I always look forward to scoring goals there.
“Although I had six good years at Reading and it will be nice to go back and see some old faces, my priority is now with Ipswich.
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“My intent will be for Ipswich to win and whether that means me scoring the goals or someone else, it doesn't matter. I will not have any sadness if we come away from there with the three points.”
The former Brentford and Birmingham striker is hoping to play his first 90 minutes since picking up a knee cartilage injury at QPR in August but he knows he will be stepping out against a very good side.
The Royals have conceded just seven goals on their way to second place in the table and beat leaders Sheffield United at the Madejski Stadium before the international break.
Forster said: “Reading are a very well organised, regimented side and their goals against record over the past few years has always been one of the best in the division.
“They are hard to beat and hard to score against.
“With the new additions they have brought in up front they are now in among the goals and are turning the draws into wins.
“This league has shown that any team can beat anyone in this division and we have to go there believing we can win and be positive.”
The highlights during his six-year spell at Reading include coming off the bench following an injury spell and scoring the winner against Wigan in the Division Two play-off semi-finals in 2000-01.
He has many other fond memories. He said: “I remember that play-off semi-final against Wigan and also the Division One Play-off semi-final against Wolves (in 2002-03). Although that ultimately ended in heartache it was a wonderful day in itself.
“We took the lead and had a good time but it was not to be.”
Wolves then went on to beat Sheffield United 3-0 in the finals to win promotion to the Premiership.
Forster has found Portman Road to his liking, too, with five goals in three appearances. He netted on his debut against Cardiff, on his return last week against Crewe and then added a hat-trick for the reserves against Southampton on Monday.
He said: “I like the place. Everyone talks about the surface at Portman Road but it really is second to none. If you don't enjoy playing out there, then you won't enjoy playing anywhere.”
Forster is likely to partner Sam Parkin on Sunday after the former Swindon striker recovered from a back injury and resumed training this week.
Reading are hoping to have Dave Kitson back after he completed an hour in the reserves' 2-1 defeat at Colchester United.
Defender Nicky Shorey played the full hour as the Royals took the lead through Jonathan Haynes.
Richard Garcia and Russell Pond hit the U's goals.