Read­ing can kick Harry’s

Midweek Sport - - SPORTS -

1 Read­ing 5 Derby 6 Leeds 7 Ip­swich 8 Black­burn 9 Wi­gan 10 Brighton 11 Wat­ford 12 Burn­ley 13 Charlton 14 Bournemouth 15 Birm­ing­ham 16 Le­ices­ter 17 Mid­dles­brough 18 Don­caster 19 Barns­ley 20 Black­pool 21 Sh­eff Wed 22 Hud­der­s­field 23 Mill­wall 24 Yeovil ROY’S THE BOY: Roys­ton Dren­the can make the dif­fer­ence for Read­ing, while Scott Car­son

will be be­tween the sticks for fel­low

pro­mo­tion hope­fuls Wi­gan HARRY RED­KNAPP knew the hard work was only just start­ing when QPR fin­ished rock-bot­tom of the Pre­mier League last sea­son.

A bloated squad of over­paid un­der­achiev­ers needed a huge over­haul.

Some of the big names have gone, but mis­fits Joey Bar­ton and Adel Taarabt are still on the books, while Julio Ce­sar and Loic Remy are also des­tined to leave.

Now Red­knapp is go­ing back to basics.

“I want play­ers will­ing to go the ex­tra mile, play­ers who ar­rive each morn­ing and talk about the game,” said the R’s boss.

“I got fed up with some of them believ­ing Real Madrid or Barcelona wanted them.

“I haven’t had a call from ei­ther club.”

The ar­rival of Richard Dunne and Karl Henry has helped make Rangers favourites to go straight back up. But the two other sides rel­e­gated from the top flight have made the more eye-catch­ing sign­ings – and I reckon Read­ing will be the ones to beat.

Royals owner An­ton Zin­gare­vich has flexed his fi­nan­cial mus­cles to bankroll the ar­rival of for­mer Real Madrid mid­fielder Roys­ton Dren­the.

And, with ex-Eng­land man Wayne Bridge also on the books, boss Nigel Ad­kins looks to have that ex­tra bit of class that will see him cel­e­brat­ing next May.

New Wi­gan boss Owen Coyle raised a few eye­brows by land­ing Nor­wich hit­man Grant Holt for £2m – the big­gest fee paid out in the Cham­pi­onship this sum­mer.

Holt is just one of eight new sign­ings, in­clud­ing Eng­land keeper Scott Car­son who ar­rived in a £700,000 move from Turk­ish out­fit Bur­sas­por.

Bolton are also ex­pected to be in the play-off mix af­ter nar­rowly miss­ing out on the fi­nal day last sea­son. But boss Dougie Freed­man wants more names added be­fore the trans­fer win­dow shuts or he knows his pro­mo­tion dream could be dashed.

The Trot­ters boss has added £1m striker Jer­maine Beck­ford to his ranks along with free­bie de­fend­ers Alex Bap­tiste and Marc Tier­ney.

The Scot wants three more ad­di­tions be­fore Septem­ber 2 but must make do with what he has got ahead of this week­end’s opener against Burn­ley.


The Clarets will have Char­lie Austin in their ranks af­ter his failed med­i­cal at Hull ear­lier this sum­mer, but it re­mains to be seen if the brick­layer turned striker will ce­ment a move else­where be­fore the end of Au­gust.

Ex­pec­ta­tions at play-off semi-fi­nal­ists Le­ices­ter have been damp­ened af­ter their Thai own­ers tight­ened the purse strings.

Nigel Pear­son has only signed Zoumana Bakayogo from Tran­mere on a free


FU­TURE: Char­lie Austin

is still at Burn­ley – but for how long?

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