Darius Aiming To Earn New Deal

Last updated : 29 July 2003 By Rob Cooper
Darius Henderson
Darius Henderson
Impressive youngster Darius Henderson, who has seen several players leave the club at the end of their contracts this summer, is hoping to earn a new deal.

The 21-year-old scored just four times last season during an injury plagued campaign. Having failed to make a serious impression last year the youngster fears for his future at the Madejski Stadium.

If Big Darius doesn't have a 'big' year then Alan Pardew may show the kind of ruthlessness he displayed when disposing of Anthony Rougier, Phil Whitehead, Steve Warren and Co.

A determined Henderson admitted he is hoping he doesn't become the club's Peter Pan, the boy that never grew up. "I'm really focused, as I've got to be," he said, speaking to readingfc.co.uk.

"If I don't get a contract here, I want to give a good account of myself this season so other clubs can see that. But I want to do well here, play football and hopefully have a good season."

Darius, rejected by Leeds as a teenager, will be praying that Alan Pardew reverts to a 4-4-2 formation this season.

If the Royals continue to play in a 4-5-1 line-up it is likely that his chances to put on a show will be limited. Nicky Forster rules the striking roost when the club choose to play just one up front.

Despite being slightly shaken by the possible prospect of having to look for a new club next summer, Henderson is unruffled by the speculation linking veteran forward Shaun Goater with a move to the club.

"It doesn't bother me about the striker speculation, because if I do my job then it shouldn't be a problem," he added.

Henderson could get his first chance to prove he's worth a new deal tonight when the Royals take on Bournemouth in a pre-season friendly.

Reading MAD believe that Darius Henderson can have a massive season after seemingly toying with the idea of exploding onto the scene in Division One last year.