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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Wembley pain drives Jem on - Readingchronicle.co.uk


OAKWELL hero Jem Karacan is still haunted by Reading's Championship play-off final defeat at Wembley last season.

The 23-year-old midfielder grabbed a sensational brace on Saturday as Royals hammered Barnsley 4-0 to record their biggest win of the season so far.
The victory was Reading's ninth in a 10-game unbeaten run and cemented second spot in the table for Brian McDermott's side ahead of tonight's trip to Peterborough United (7.45pkm ko).
And for Karacan, promotion to the Premier League is all that matters, especially after two previous failed attempts including last year's defeat to Swansea City at Wembley when he hit the post with Royals 3-2 down before they eventually lost 4-2.
The Turkey Under 21 star admitted: "I replay Wembley every day in my head, hitting that post, and it kills me.
"So I'm going to run my hardest, try my hardest and do whatever I can for this team to get us in the Premier League.
"I missed out twice - against Birmingham in the play-offs a few years ago and at Wembley. I've got that hurt inside me and I just want to get the boys in the Premier League.
"If that happens it'll be a dream come true, but all we can do is focus on the next game."
The near 700 Royals fans at Oakwell on the weekend were certainly in dreamland when their side briefly climbed to the top of the table. While Royals were leading
2-0 through early second-half goals from skipper Jobi McAnuff and Karacan, Southampton were losing 2-1 at Millwall to hand top spot to the Berkshire side.
But although Reading went on to win comfortably with Karacan netting a superb second and Jason Roberts adding a fourth, Saints' Ricky Lambert scored two late penalties to clinch a 3-2 victory and send his side back to the summit.
Nevertheless, West Ham's 1-1 draw at Leeds United saw Royals pull three points clear of third-placed Hammers, though Sam Allardyce's side have one game in hand.
And Karacan believes McDermott deserves all the plaudits for the team's success.
"Credit has to go to the gaffer," he insisted. "He's got a team here gelling and pulling in the same direction.
"Nobody is sitting outside the team moaning about not playing. That's the good thing here, everyone pats you on the back if you do well and picks you up if you've not done great; it's massive here - it's great to be a part of it. But we've done nothing yet, we've got nine games left to go. The team performance was brilliant in the second half on Saturday and we just keep moving on."
Karacan picked up a slight knock at Oakwell but is expected to be fit for tonight's clash with Posh.
"I'll play through the pain barrier," he insisted. "I want to play every game here."
Reading edged a five-goal thriller against Posh back in November's fixture at the Mad Stad when Simon Church, Hal Robson-Kanu and Adam Le Fondre all scored.

Source: http://www.readingchronicle.co.uk/sport/roundup/articles/2012/03/20/58121-wembley-pain-drives-jem-on/ Wembley pain drives Jem on - Readingchronicle.co.uk

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