Magilton: Walters has courage of Butcher

JON Walters desire to play in the Premier League was underlined by his courageous display in the Blues first home win of the season.

Derek Davis

JON Walters desire to play in the Premier League was underlined by his courageous display in the Blues first home win of the season.

Manager Jim Magilton praised his striker's bravery to head in a goal and nod down for Jon Stead's opener despite a head wound that needed four stitches.

Magilton likened it to the courage once shown by former Town star Terry Butcher while playing for England after Walters twice needed treatment for the wound after an accidental collision.

He said: “The character in the squad is such that you see Jon Walters get a cut in the head, sprints off gets treated sprints back on and then gets his head on a big cross and we score. That takes guts and character and not many people I know do that. The last was probably the skipper of England.”

Walters suffered a summer of speculation that he was set to join a Premier League club and admits he still has a desire to do that and accepts if he carries on playing well he is bound to be linked again before the January window.

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Walters has also been suffering from a virus that meant he missed much of the training over the past two weeks but all that behind him as town put the Royals to the sword.

While Stead and Walters were the scorers Magilton was delighted with his whole side's display.

He said: “The players deserve tremendous credit for the way they went about their business. We rode our luck at times but we had some very good opportunities in the fist half and we showed great resolve, great character and deserved to win the game.

“I don't want to single anyone out. Collectively we played very well against a very good side. If you finish above Reading you are in with a shout.

“One our day we can produce performances like that now we have to do it on a consistent basis.

Pablo Counago twice hit the crossbar in the first half and Alan Quinn also hit a post while Reading were denied by blocks from David Wright and Pim Balkestein, a tip over save from Richard Wright and Moritz Volz cleared a Noel Hunt header off the line.

Magilton added: “There was not much motivation needed by me. Reading at home, a side that have just been relegated from the Premier League, and players who show a real appetite.

“It was good to get a home win but now we have to go to Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday and try and reproduce that.

“It is about confidence and giving the players the freedom to play. The philosophy has not changed even following the mass hysteria, following three losses in four games.

“A lot of players needed bedding in and we have new players coming in so it will still take time and a lot of work to hit top steam but today was a good day for us but now we have to move on.

“The first goal at our level is important. Reading had a wonderful opportunity. Then added jokingly: “If that had gone in then my job would have been on the line.”