NOEL Hunt has tipped John O’Shea to prove his critics wrong should the 37-year-old defender complete a move to Reading FC this week.

Former Manchester United star O’Shea, who has Champions League and Premier League medals to his name, is on the verge of completing a move to Madejski Stadium on a one-year deal.

Supporters have been sceptical about the move, which will see the veteran defender move to Berkshire from AFC Sunderland after their relegation to League One.

But former Royals fans’ favourite Hunt, who recently took over as player/assistant manager for Waterford in Republic of Ireland, insisted O’Shea will have the desire to prove himself.

“He’s a leader and a winner,” stressed Hunt.

“Look at what he has done over the last 10 or 15 years.

“He has been nothing but a model pro and a top guy.

“John has played with the best players in the world. He had a really hard season last year with Sunderland.

“He has high levels of expectation and he expects nothing but the best.

“He will still be hungry. Everyone knows where he has been. He could have retired five or six years ago but he has that hunger and desire to play. He wouldn’t have been short of managerial offers."

Reading Chronicle:

John O'Shea, left, in action for Sunderland. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Hunt played alongside O'Shea for the Republic of Ireland, as did brother, Stephen.

The Hunt brothers have been been an integral part of Reading's success in recent years, with both featuring in promotion-winning sides that went up to the Premier League under former bosses Steve Coppell and Brian McDermott.

Noel added: “John will know about Reading through myself and Stephen. It’s such a great club.

“It entices people in because it’s a family club and the standard of the training ground and the stadium.

“There are no excuses at Reading and he’ll know that.”

The former Manchester United defender recently retired from international football after winning his 118th cap for Republic of Ireland.

And Hunt, 35, believes O’Shea will add to an already impressive dressing room core, which he says can help turn Royals’ fortunes around.

He continued: “In the Championship you need to have a strong group.

“But players like John O’Shea and Paul McShane know that. Reading have Garath McCleary and Chris Gunter too.

“There is a good core of good lads so hopefully they can pick up next season.”