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Akpan excited for Everton return

Reading midfielder Hope Akpan is in no doubt his side can avoid relegation this year, despite the club sitting just one point from safety.

Reading midfielder Hope Akpan is in no doubt his side can avoid relegation this year, despite the club sitting just one point from safety.

Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to relegation rivals Wigan saw them slip into 19th place, but the 21-year-old is refusing to be disheartened.

“We can stay up, 100 per cent,” Akpan told BBC Radio.

“We still have that belief.

“Any loss like that is tough to take. Obviously with the position we are in and the position Wigan are in it was even tougher to take. We just need to use that pain to help us get the points we need to stay up.

“It is very tight, there are a lot of games left to play and a lot of points to play for and we need to go into the game with the belief we can win it. We still have that belief.”

Next up for the Royals is a trip to Everton, where Akpan will make his first return as an opposition player to the ground he called home for over a decade.

The Childwall native admitted it will be an emotional occasion, but insisted he is fully focused on performing for Brian McDermott’s side.

“It’s going to be an exciting game for me,” he admitted.

“First and foremost I am a Reading player and that is my main focus. I’m happy to be going back to Goodison Park and am super excited. I was there since I was eight and I had a lot of experiences there but you have to live in the moment.”
Thu 28 February, 2013
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