READING FC’S Stephen Kelly has vowed to keep on improving at left-back - but admits he always prefers to play on the right.

Kelly looks set for a regular place in Royals’ starting line-up for at least two months as Wayne Bridge recovers from a knee operation.

That prospect will not fill some Royals fans with too much confidence after Kelly’s display in the recent 5-2 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.

But like Nigel Adkins’ team, Kelly responded in impressive style in the 1-1 draw with promotion-favourites QPR last weekend.

The 30-year-old Irishman is now relishing the chance to prove he can fill Reading’s troublesome left-back spot, with Chris Gunter currently settled on the right.

He told the Chronicle: “It has been frustrating for me so this is an opportunity for me to play week in week out.

“I’ve been playing left-back which is not my natural position.

“Obviously, if I was going to play in a game, I would rather it was at right back but that’s how football is.

“You take your opportunity when it comes and if it’s gong to come to me in the left-back position then I think I can do well there and do well for the club.”

Royals boss Adkins pulled off a major coup by signing Bridge on a free transfer from Manchester City in the summer.

With Bridge now recovering from surgery, Adkins has been left short of options at left-back after letting Nicky Shorey and Ian Harte go in the summer.

Kelly, though, insists he is up to the task: “I’m naturally right footed but I’m just pleased to have a run of games in the team now,” he declared.

“This is the first time I’ve played back-to games for a while which is great.

“No matter what people say, you need to be playing games to get back into the feel of things.”

Kelly is currently on international duty with the Republic of Ireland along with Royals defender Alex Pearce, who could both face Kaspars Gorkss’ Latvia in Dublin tonight (7.45pm ko).

“When I come back I hope I can play a couple more games for Reading again,” said Kelly.

“I’m just delighted to be back in the team and hopefully we can start putting a run together and push up the table.

“We’re in touching distance of the teams at the top and out performance against QPR showed we’re capable of mixing it with the top teams in this division.

“Come Christmas time we need to make sure everybody is fit and well so we can put a run together.”

For Kelly, the draw with QPR was something of a personal victory after he came in for some stinging criticism following the heavy loss at Hillsborough.

“We definitely needed that performance,” he confessed. “Everyone was extremely disappointed after the Sheffield Wednesday defeat.

“We started quickly that day and we looked sharp and created chances. Then all of a sudden we became very loose, we spread out and Wednesday were able to counter attack us way too easily.

“To come back from that was very pleasing. We were much more compact and there was a better shape about us all over the pitch.

“It was a much better show from us against arguably a better team than Sheffield Wednesday. That’s no disrespect to them but Rangers are expected to be near the top at the end of the season, and we could easily have won the game.”