Toon trip holds no fear for upbeat McAnuff

Published: 15 Jan 2013 06:300 comments

JOBI McAnuff believes his improving Reading side will never have a better chance of beating Newcastle United.

Confident: Jobi McAnuff, right, believes Reading can continue their improving form at Newcastle United this weekend.
Pic: Chris Forsey.

Confident: Jobi McAnuff, right, believes Reading can continue their improving form at Newcastle United this weekend.
Pic: Chris Forsey.

Royals make the long trip to St James' Park this Saturday to take on former boss Alan Pardew's struggling Magpies (3pm ko).

Newcastle have failed to hit the heights of last season when they finished fifth in the table and are currently languishing in 16th place, with five points more than Reading.

A crippling injury list and the recent sale of star striker Demba Ba to Chelsea has only added to Pardew's woes.

Reading, on the other hand, appear to be heading in the right direction, with last weekend's pulsating 3-2 comeback win over West Bromwich Albion making it six points from the last three Premier League outings for Brian McDermott's men.

And while relegation-threatened Royals remain three points from safety, McAnuff is confident they can secure a positive result in the north east this weekend.

He said: "Newcastle are having a bit of a sticky spell at the moment. They're a club with real high expectations this season after doing so well last year.

"We've got to take advantage of that now. We're in a decent run of form and if we can take that up there, start the game well and cut out the silly goals we will give ourselves a chance.

"These are tough places to go but for us it is all about our own performance. If we do that it will hopefully be enough to get us a result."

Reading were unlucky not to beat Newcastle at Madejski Stadium back in September, as Ba punched the ball into the net for one of Magpies' goals in a lively 2-2 draw.

However, McAnuff insists Royals will not be seeking to settle an old score when the sides clash this weekend.

"I wouldn't say it is revenge," he stressed. "There's nothing we can do about that game, a decision went against us, we just want to go up there and get a result.

"Newcastle are under a lot of pressure now. They're a big, big club but they're in a spot of bother so it could be a great game for us.

"St James' Park is a fantastic place to play football so hopefully we can carry this form on and we will fancy our chances up there, definitely."

++ ZAMBIA defender Stoppila Sunzu could complete his move to Reading FC before the end of the week.

Royals have tied up a deal with TP Mazembe for the 23-year-old international.

Sunszu, who was being chased by Arsenal, is due to have a medical at Reading's Hogwood Park training ground.

Mazembe president Moses Katumbi confirmed on Monday: "Indeed, Sunzu is heading to Reading for tests after the agreement by TP Mazembe and the Zambia Federation."

Sunzu would become Reading's fourth January signing after Stephen Kelly, Daniel Carrico and Hope Akpan.

Royals have also been linked with Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas. ++

++ MIDFIELDER Jay Tabb has been told he can leave Reading FC in the January transfer window. ++

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