The Football League Paper - - BIG INTERVIEW -

IAN HARTE’S af­fec­tion for Leeds will last a life­time but he ad­mits he had no choice but to turn down their ad­vances in favour of one last shot at the Pre­mier League.

Harte had just se­cured pro­mo­tion from the Cham­pi­onship with Read­ing in 2012 when Neil Warnock pleaded with the Ir­ish­man to re­turn to Leeds.

But hav­ing spent the best part of five years try­ing to reestab­lish him­self in the English game af­ter re­turn­ing from Le­vante in 2007, the 35year-old claims he owed it to him­self to give the Pre­mier League a go.

“Leeds did come in for me, but Read­ing was prob­a­bly go­ing to be my last op­por­tu­nity to play in the Pre­mier League, so I couldn’t turn that down,” he said.

In all Harte made 288 ap­pear­ances for the Whites, scor­ing 39 goals, but he be­lieves in the old adage: never go back.

“They also en­quired when I was up in Carlisle, so ob­vi­ously there was in­ter­est to see me re­turn,” added Harte.

“I had some very spe­cial times there and it’s al­ways dif­fi­cult to come back to a club that you’ve had good times with and to live up to those mem­o­ries.

“Of course I al­ways look at Leeds’ re­sults and hope that they go on and do well, and hope­fully one day soon they’re back in the Pre­mier League be­cause the fans are amaz­ing.”

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