Harper Desperate To Play

Last updated : 19 August 2002 By Rob Cooper
James Harper
James Harper
Former Arsenal midfielder Harper, who started the first two games of the season, desperately wants to get back into the first team after being dropped by manager Alan Pardew last Saturday.

After a good performance at Derby on the opening day of the season, the skillful midfielder, was brought off at half time against Sheffield Wednesday having put in a below par performance.

James Harper, who didn't even make the bench for Saturday's game, told readingfc.co.uk: "I was sitting in the stands and it's not good watching it from up there. You want to be out there playing, especially with the type of game it was.

"In the opening games of the season I thought that I was playing well."

Harper, who made himself ill from over training in pre-season, is predominantly a central midfielder. Unfortunately for him there is a lot of competition for places in that area.

He added: "I don't really like it out wide, I prefer it in the centre. In the centre you can affect play score goals and create chances which is what I'm all about."

Meanwhile, Reading's opponents on Saturday, Leicester City, are facing an injury crisis. The Walker's Bowl based side, who slumped to a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Ipswich yesterday, have no fewer than six players who look set to miss the game against the Royals.

Muzzy Izzet, Gerry Taggart, Nicky Summerbee, James Scowcroft, Billy McKinlay and Alan Rogers are the injured stars. Foxes star Matthew Piper will also miss the clahs, he is expected to complete a move to Sunderland sometime later this week.