Pearce- More to Royals than form

The Royals have endured a tough time this season, with their second campaign back in the Championship one of strife and struggle

They have enjoyed some relief in the FA Cup, though, and head to Wembley this weekend for their first semi-final in 88 years

Pearce and his team-mates can become the first Reading side to reach the final if they overcome Arsenal, although that is easier said than done against a side on a run of eight successive Premier League wins

If that was not enough, the Royals have failed to win since overcoming Bradford in their quarter-final replay - not that vice-captain Pearce is worrying too much about that

"We're certainly due a win, aren't we?," he said, smiling

"We haven't won since that, but we haven't played that badly in the last few games

"We can't quite believe we've only got three points from the last four games because we feel we played well

"Saturday is just a one-off game and we'll go into it with high spirits and the attitude to get a good result

"It's much higher opposition and we all know what we're in for

There are players in the dressing room who have played in the Premier League before and have played against Arsenal before

"We know there are top quality players all over the pitch

"The manager will prepare us really well, we'll go with a game plan and hopefully we can carry that out."

The Berkshire town is abuzz with excitement ahead of just the second semi-final appearance in the club's history

Pearce, with the club since the age of 12, cannot wait for the match but will not allow himself to dream of a return at the end of May

"You take one step at a time," the Ireland international said

"All we need to worry about is the game on Saturday

"If we start thinking about the final, and that kind of thing, we'll slip up and won't do what we have to do

"We have to go there with a game plan, do as many things right as we can and hopefully get a result."

Source : PA

Source: PA