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Roberts sets sights on maiden title

Published: 16 Apr 2012 17:002 comments

JASON Roberts insists Reading are determined to not only win promotion from the Championship, but also win the title.

Title ambition: Reading striker Jason Roberts is hungry for a Championship winners' medal.

Royals' superb 3-1 victory at Southampton on Friday night saw Brian McDermott's men replace the Saints at the top of the Championship table.

The win fired Reading to within touching distance of promotion to the Premier League - the division Roberts dropped out of in January to join McDermott's squad.

And now the 34-year-old striker, who has played most of his career in the top flight, is desperate for his side to lift the Championship trophy on their way back up to the Premier League.

Royals can guarantee promotion tomorrow (Tuesday) night. They will go up if West Ham either lose or draw at Bristol City and McDermott's men avoid defeat at home to Nottingham Forest (8pm ko).

"I've been promoted before but I've never won the Championship and we want to do that now," he said.

"This is a fantastic squad and the fans were tremendous on Friday evening. There's no doubt Southampton had the majority of possession and played well, and they will have gone away thinking they put in a good performance, which is fine.

"But we have been in these positions before and we have a tendency to win. Given a good performance or three points, I'll take the three points every time."

Since joining from Blackburn Rovers in January, Roberts has been instrumental in Royals' remarkable run of form, scoring six goals and winning all but two of the games he has played a part in.

He was again a key figure at St Mary's on Friday when he scored the first goal from Jimmy Kebe's exquisite cross, and afterwards he hailed the strength and togetherness of Royals' squad.

"I was just sitting in the dressing room, contemplating if I have ever played with a better bunch of people and I struggle to think of one," he commented. "It's the character of the people in there, for those individuals, win lose or draw. You look around and know you are dealing with a proper bunch of people.

"Even when they got the goal back - which we're not used to, we're used to keeping clean sheets - we looked around and there was no negativity, no finger-pointing, just a realisation that we need to go again now. I was very proud to be part of that performance, it's another step to where we want to be.

"Credit to Southampton, they're a good team, they played some good stuff, but they came up against a side who are motivated and know how to win football matches. I sounds like a cliché but we know how to win."

Meanwhile, Mikele Leigertwood is winning his fitness race and could reclaim his place in the Reading side for the clash against Forest.

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