Reading V Everton at Madejski Stadium - Match Preview

Morrison relishing Royals chance

Reading defender Sean Morrison admits he is enjoying his first taste of Barclays Premier League football after forcing his way into the Royals' starting line-up, with Everton next up.

The 21-year-old had featured in Reading's two Capital One Cup ties this season after a handful of appearances since his move from Swindon in January 2011.

But, despite being part of the rearguard that shipped seven goals in the 7-5 loss to Arsenal, boss Brian McDermott felt Morrison was ready for the Premier League and he took his top-flight bow in the 1-1 draw at fellow strugglers QPR.

He then played in the goalless stalemate against Norwich last weekend, helping McDermott's side to their first clean sheet of the season.

Morrison, who has also spent two spells on loan at Huddersfield, said: "It is exciting, I've waited a long time because I will have been here two years in January, so to get a chance and to play in the Premier League has been fantastic and exciting.

"They have been two important games obviously and we needed to get some points on the board and we took two draws so it is not too bad.

"I just hope now the gaffer has given me the shirt that I can keep it."

The clean sheet against Norwich has been seen as a potential watershed moment in Reading's stuttering season and Morrison is aware the shut-outs must continue.

"That is the only way we are going to stay up in this league is if we are solid at the back and keep as many clean sheets as possible," he said.

"You see the teams that win the league and the teams that are high up are the teams that keep the most clean sheets.

"The lads are going to put the ball in the net at the other end so that is nothing to worry about but we need to keep the clean sheet and I'm sure then we will move straight up the league."

The high-flying Toffees are the next visitors to the Madejski Stadium and Morrison is looking forward to challenging himself against a team who currently occupy a Champions League position.

"It is what you want to do as a footballer, isn't it?," he said.

"You want to play against the best players in the country and that is where they are, in the Premier League, and I have got a chance to do that."

Winger Jimmy Kebe could miss out with a hamstring problem, while McDermott will definitely be without goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) as well as midfield duo Danny Guthrie (thigh) and Jem Karacan (knee).

Everton manager David Moyes insists he is in no hurry to sign a new contract this season.

However, speculation about his future is bound to grow after the Scot, whose current deal expires in the summer, said he did not want "supporters to get too sick of seeing the same manager all the time".

Everton are arguably in their best position during Moyes' 10-and-a-half-year reign but he is keen to see how things develop before beginning contract negotiations.

"No doubt I will be asked the question every week but I'm in no great hurry," said the Toffees boss.

"I just want the season to go on, see how we do and overall if we do well it will make things a lot easier.

"I want to see how we are progressing and also I don't want supporters to get too sick of seeing the same manager all the time. I am not (concerned) but I can understand maybe people will be.

"I can understand why at this time people would say it is quite close but all I can say is I've been here over 10 years now, we've worked really hard together with the club and we'll continue to do so.

"I have a great relationship with the chairman, we speak every day and when the time is right we will sit down and see what we are going to do. It might be we wait until later in the year before we sort things out."

Forward Kevin Mirallas will miss the trip with a hamstring injury.

The Belgium international was forced off in last week's victory over Sunderland and could be out for a couple of weeks, while midfielder Darron Gibson sits out a 10th successive match with a thigh problem.

Forward Victor Anichebe (hamstring) and defender Tony Hibbert (calf) remain doubts.

Source: PA

Source: PA