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EXCLUSIVE - Reading FC's Kebe reveals real reason behind Posh no-show

Published: 30 Aug 2013 06:304 comments

JIMMY Kebe has lifted the lid on his controversial Peterborough United no-show - insisting he has never refused to play for Reading FC.

Fresh injury: Jimmy Kebe withdrew from Reading's Capital One Cup squad this week after tweaking his hamstring.

Kebe was the main target of boss Nigel Adkins' wrath in the aftermath of Tuesday's 6-0 hammering at League One Posh in the Capital One Cup.

Adkins claimed the 29-year-old was due to make his comeback at London Road after six months out with a groin strain, only to withdraw his services on Monday morning.

The incident clearly angered Adkins who then saw his side dismantled by Darren Ferguson's lower division opponents in Reading's heaviest defeat in 14 years.

Royals boss raged: "Jimmy was told last Friday that he was playing. He trained well on Saturday morning and left the training ground fully fit.

"The next thing at half past eight on Monday morning he declared himself unfit. Read into that what you want."

But Kebe, who is being strongly linked with a £1 million move to Crystal Palace, insists he was laid down with a fresh hamstring injury and feels he has been made a scapegoat for the team's lamentable cup defeat.

He told the Chronicle: "I trained on Saturday and tweaked my hamstring a little. I spoke with the physio and told him it was stiff and that it was better for me to stay away for a few days and probably miss Tuesday's game.

"I informed the manager about my hamstring and that I thought it was better to rest it. It's never been a big deal when I haven't played in the League Cup before, so why now?

"I told the manager I didn't think it was worth the risk now when it could make the injury worse as in a few days I would be fine."

While Adkins may have finally lost patience with Kebe, the ex-Mali winger insists he would never pull out of a fixture without a genuine excuse.

"It wasn't a good game for Reading and I feel they need to make somebody guilty for this result and maybe that's me," he suggested.

"The fans say 'Jimmy Kebe refused to play' and this sort of thing, but I would never do that.

"I've been at Reading for six years and never have I refused to play. Why would I now?

"If we had won on Tuesday night nobody would be talking about Jimmy Kebe. Unfortunately it was a horrible night."

Kebe returned to training yesterday morning and hopes to be in contention for Saturday's Championship clash at Yeovil Town (3pm ko).

"I will train and I will be available for Saturday, but I didn't make up this injury," he added. "I just thought it was stupid to take the risk on Tuesday when we have a big league game coming up at Yeovil.

"I thought it would be better I was fit for the league game as we need the points. I thought that would be better for the team.

"In my opinion it wasn't a big deal that I didn't play at Peterborough and I'm surprised this has happened."

Kebe also revealed he had been fully fit for the recent Watford and Blackpool Championship fixtures, but was overlooked by Adkins.

"I've been ready to play for two weeks now," he said. "Before the Watford game I told the manager to pick me at any time and that I was 100% fit and ready. But I wasn't picked for the Watford game nor the next game at Blackpool. I'm absolutely fine with that, it's the manager's choice. It was his call and I respect that."

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