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ian on royals mission

IAN HARTE says he wants to stay on at Reading next season for another campaign of Premier League football.

The former Ireland international joined Reading from Carlisle United in 2010 and has made 12 appearances for Brian McDermott's side this term, but Harte's contract is up at the end of the season and given his age – the Drogheda man will turn 36 later this year – he knows he's not guaranteed to get a new deal.

Answer

"I've no idea where I will be next year," says Harte, who was last capped against San Marino in 2007.

"The only ones who can answer that is the gaffer or the board. I'm just trying to help the team and to stay in the Premier League. If I could stay on I would be delighted," added Harte.

He is one of a number of Reading players out of contract at the end of the season, with fellow Irishman Noel Hunt also facing uncertainty over his future. His contract expires in the summer and the Waterford man, who had expressed his frustration with the lack of progress on a new deal, was linked with a move to the MLS.

But reports indicate McDermott is keen to offer Hunt a new contract and keep him on at the Madejski Stadium. Hunt, 30, joined the Royals from Dundee United for a bargain £600,000 in 2008 and he has since delivered 39 goals for the side.

Meanwhile, McDermott has praised the attitude of Dubliner Stephen Kelly, a transfer window signing from Fulham, who has settled in well at the club – Reading are unbeaten in the three games in which Kelly has featured.

Better

"Stephen Kelly everyone knows is a top international who will get better and better" said McDermott.

"Nick Blackman trained with us for the first time on Thursday and looks a real prospect. They are everything that's good about our ethos," added McDermott ahead of today's Premier League game at home to Sunderland.

"Any Reading player has to have a good personality, wants to learn, wants to get better, wants to be the best he can be every single day, has to work his socks every day in games and in training and be a group member.

"It's not about the ego of the individual, it's about the team and always has to be for us to compete.

"There's no compromise on that," added McDermott, who has allowed striker Karl Sheppard return home to Dublin and rejoin Shamrock Rovers on a six-month loan deal.


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