Reading's striking options: Royals owner's wife in bid to help ailing club beat the drop
15:22 GMT, 1 March 2013
15:52 GMT, 1 March 2013
Second-bottom of the Barclays Premier League, having being thumped 3-0 at home to Wigan last week, Reading can be forgiven for seeking inspiration from any source possible. And, it seems the owner’s wife is rallying behind the Royals' bid for survival.
Belarusian bombshell Katsia Zingarevich, wife of Reading owner Anton, is desperate for the Royals to win three points against Everton tomorrow — at least according to the lingerie brand Intimissimi she endorses.
Mrs Zingarevich earned the title of Ford’s Supermodel of the World back in 2006, the same year Reading were first promoted to the Barclays Premier League, so perhaps that’s a good omen.
Royal beauty: Katsia, wife of owner Anton Zingarevich, is desperate to see Reading remain in the top flight
Other half: Reading owner Anton Zingarevich looks on before last season's Championship match against Leeds
Bottom half of the Barclays Premier League table
It will be an odd afternoon for Reading
midfielder Hope Akpan, who admits he will get a buzz from facing his
boyhood club again.
The 21-year-old joined the Toffees as an eight-year-old and remained at Goodison Park until a move to Crawley in 2011.
He then penned a deal with Reading in the recent January transfer window and will go back to face his boyhood club this weekend.
back to where I started my career from a young age is going to be
exciting, definitely, but I’m a Reading player now and I want to do well
for Reading,' he said.
'At the end of the day it is just another game so I’ve got to go out with the same mentality as I do every time I play.
Excited: Hope Akpan (right) says he will get a buzz from facing boyhood club Everton
'It is a massive game for Reading Football Club because, in the position we are, we need to get out of there and we need the points more than anything so I will put everything to one side and concentrate on getting a result for Reading.”
Reading lost 3-0 at home to fellow strugglers Wigan last weekend to fall back into the relegation places in the Premier League.
But Akpan claims the players are not letting the defeat play on their minds and believes a positive result at Everton is achievable.
'After a result like we had on Saturday I think we just need to let it go,' he said.
'It was a bad day for the players and the club, we’ve moved on now and are ready for the game on Saturday.
game you go into you have to believe that you can get the points from
the game. Everton are a strong team throughout the entire squad but we
have to make sure we implement ourselves on them.”
McDermott’s Reading side picked up their first win of the season
against Everton in November and a decent run of form after Christmas saw
the Berkshire club push towards top-flight safety.
In it together: Akpan is aiming to help Reading get back on track after being pulled back into a relegation scrap
Praise: Akpan said he enjoys playing under Reading gaffer Brian McDermott
The loss to Wigan has pulled Reading right back into the relegation battle but Akpan is enjoying playing under McDermott and is targeting a result on Saturday before a clash at home to Aston Villa the following week.
'We built a good momentum a couple of weeks back and got some good results back-to-back,' he said.
'That is the way to pick up points so hopefully we can get a result here and then go into the Villa game.
'He is a great guy, the gaffer. He gets his point across well and the things he has told me to do I have tried to implement them in the games so it has been really good.'