Andy’s ready for Roy­als to take on Man Utd

The Wokingham Paper - - WOKINGHAM SPORT -

ANDY RI­NOMHOTA is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to play at Old Traf­ford in the New Year.

Read­ing have been drawn to face Manch­ester United in the third round of the FA Cup for the third time in six years with the tie due to take place be­tween 4-7 Jan­uary, with an ex­act date yet to be con­firmed.

And it is set to be a spe­cial oc­ca­sion for young­ster Ri­nomhota (pic­tured).

Born in Leeds, the mid­fielder moved south be­fore join­ing the Read­ing academy in 2015 and hav­ing bro­ken into the first team in re­cent weeks, start­ing the past five matches in suc­ces­sion, he is in line to take on a side he has a soft spot for.

“The thought of go­ing to Old Traf­ford, play­ing Manch­ester United, one of the big­gest clubs in the world in front of 70-odd thou­sand peo­ple, that’ll be mas­sive and a whole ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self,” said Ri­nomhota.

“I was brought up sup­port­ing Manch­ester United so it’s al­ways been there for me to want to play at Old Traf­ford and hope­fully now I’ll have the chance.

“Every­one wants to get the re­sult, do well for them­selves and give a good ac­count against good qual­ity op­po­si­tion.”

Ri­nomhota is not the only player with Man

Utd links among the Read­ing squad. While the 21-year-old was a boy­hood Red Dev­ils fan, three first team squad mem­bers used to be on the books at Old Traf­ford.

Tyler Black­ett joined the Roy­als from United in 2016, cap­tain Paul McShane came through their academy while John O’Shea was a club stal­wart, play­ing al­most 400 games for Man Utd, win­ning a host of tro­phies in­clud­ing five Premier League ti­tles and the Cham­pi­ons League.

“Every­one’s on a high,” said Ri­nomhota. “They’re go­ing to be re­turn­ing to their old club so they’ll want to put in a good per­for­mance and play well.

“I think every­one’s mas­sively up for it but ob­vi­ously the league comes first and we’ll be fo­cussing on that up un­til the cup game.

“It’s some­thing that’s go­ing to be on peo­ple’s minds and we’re look­ing for­ward to it a lot.”

Read­ing have won just once against Man Utd in 20 pre­vi­ous meet­ings but did pick up two im­pres­sive draws at Old Traf­ford in 2007.

The last time the sides met was in Jan­uary 2017 when Jaap Stam re­turned to his old club, but his Roy­als were thumped 4-0 with Wayne Rooney, An­thony Mar­tial and Mar­cus Rash­ford all on tar­get.

Be­fore that Read­ing host Sh­effield United in the Cham­pi­onship this Satur­day (5.30pm) with the game tele­vised live on Sky Sports.

 For a re­port, pho­tos and re­ac­tion from Satur­day’s 2-2 draw with Stoke City, see The Sports Pa­per in­side.

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