Rival striker hails Town's chances

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterREADING striker Nicky Forster has hailed Ipswich Town as the cream of the Championship crop.But he knows that if the Royals don't halt the Blues then Reading's own promotion hopes are going to take a massive blow.

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

READING striker Nicky Forster has hailed Ipswich Town as the cream of the Championship crop.

But he knows that if the Royals don't halt the Blues then Reading's own promotion hopes are going to take a massive blow.


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Forster said: “I think they are the best team in the division. I said that before they were top.

“Everyone said Wigan were the best, but no disrespect to Wigan, who will be up near the top at the end, I think Ipswich are slightly better.

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“They play good football, they have good movement and they are the top scorers in the league. But we have home advantage, we got a draw at their place and we will be looking to get all three points.

“I wouldn't say we can't catch them if we lose, but it will be hard. We have already lost quite a few games this season and we need to get some wins under our belt.

“We need to try and get some momentum going.”

With top-scorer Dave Kitson still a long way off returning after medial ligament damage in a knee, Forster has the responsibility of finding the goals Reading so desperately need.

He said: “I need to go on a scoring run now. We desperately need to win games to get promotion and to do that the strikers need goals and that responsibility falls on my shoulders as the striker who is playing at the moment.

“We have struggled to score goals recently. I don't think we have been playing badly. We have been creating chances. We have just not turned that pressure into goals and that is something we need to address.

“But we have been working very hard on that area of our game this week and the strikers have been doing extra work so hopefully it will pay off.”

Forster netted the winner against Swansea in the FA Cup replay on Monday, and he hopes he can repeat the heroics he has managed against Ipswich in the past.

He said: “We have done well against Ipswich. I scored a hat-trick against them when they came down here a couple of years ago.

“We tend to play well against the top teams. There will be a full house and we will certainly be looking to win the game.

Steve Sidwell is suspended, Les Ferdinand is struggling to be fit enough in time to play so Lloyd Owusu is expected to start up front alongside Forster.

Reading could try and stifle the Town midfield by stringing five across midfield with Ricky Newman drafted in with Andy Hughes and James Harper to put pressure on Ian Westlake and Kevin Horlock.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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