TIAGO Ilori is ready to put his Liverpool nightmare behind him and seal a return to the Premier League with Reading FC.

The Portuguese defender ended years of Anfield frustration when he joined Royals in a club-record deal worth around £3m yesterday.

Now the 23-year-old centre-back is determined to relaunch his career at Madejski Stadium after making just three first-team appearances for the Reds after joining them from Sporting Lisbon for £7m in 2013.

Ilori, who takes squad number 20, said: “I have great respect for Liverpool. Obviously, it didn’t work out perfectly for me. I didn’t get the game-time I expected, but these things happen.

“When I signed for them I had a few options, but I chose Liverpool thinking it was the best one.

“But even though I didn’t play the games I wanted to, I still developed there as a player and a person.

“There are plenty of positives to take from these past three-and-a-half years.”

It was former Reading and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers who signed Ilori from Sporting as a highly-promising teenager.

But he made only three first team appearances and was farmed out on loan to Granada, Bordeaux and Aston Villa.

He revealed: “I only left Sporting with the idea I would go there and play and have a real chance from the get-go.

“Things didn’t happen that way. I went out on loan a couple of times and yes, things dragged on a little bit.

“But I can’t blame anyone but myself. Obviously I didn’t do something right and that’s why I’ve made this change so that I can put things right again.”

The London-born Portugal youth international failed to secure a move last summer and has spent this season with Liverpool Under 23s.

And he admitted he jumped at the chance to work under Royals boss Jaap Stam and kick-start his career after signing a three-year deal until 2020.

“Things moved quickly,” added Ilori. “I came down and did my bit before waiting for the final stages to be completed.

“I saw the QPR game last week, and these things happen. But playing under Jaap Stam was a huge attraction, especially for a player in my position. He’s played at the highest level and to have him coaching you is great.

“There is a young team here with big aspirations to do well. I need to play as much football as I can and that was all part of my decision to come to Reading.”

He continued: “It’s the whole project here, I think Reading is definitely going in the right direction, the direction I want to go in which is fighting for Premier League football while playing the right type of football as well.

“It’s what I want for my career.”

“Most importantly I want to keep developing as a player and I think I’m in the right place for that.

“Liverpool is a great city, but I was born in London so I’m much closer to my family now. There are a lot of positives in the move for me.”

Ilori’s arrival completed a hectic 24 hours for the Royals after Garath McCleary signed a new contract until 2020 on Tuesday.

Stam confirmed Ilori, who has been training with Reading for most of this week, could make his debut at Derby County this Saturday (3pm ko). Skipper Paul McShane is also available after recovering from a wrist operation.