READING FC winger Callum Harriott admitted he was left scratching his head at being overlooked by former boss Paul Clement.

The fleet-footed winger made a goal-scoring return from the bench on Tuesday – more than two years since his last professional appearance following a long battle with injury.

Harriott linked up well with fellow sub Danny Loader before netting a late consolation in the 4-1 New Year’s Day mauling by Swansea City at Madejski Stadium.

The 24-year-old’s timing could not have been better with new boss Jose Gomes ready to order a major cull of his squad this month.

Harriott admitted: “I have felt fit for a while now and I was waiting to be selected.

“I’m not sure why I wasn’t picked. Maybe it was a case that he didn’t want to change the team because of results.

“Hopefully I can stay fit and 2019 will be a good year for me.”

The former Charlton Athletic midfielder endured a nightmare spell on the sidelines after suffering a severe hamstring injury in the infamous fog-abandoned clash with Fulham FC in December 2016.

He endured a string of setbacks along the road to recovery only to find himself stuck in the Under 23s on his return to fitness.

However, he could now be set for a run in the first-team under Gomes.

He beamed: “Coming on against Swansea was probably the best feeling ever.

“Being injured is the most depressing thing in the world. There wasn’t a day when I didn’t want to be out there and be on the pitch.

“I was delighted to play and get a goal, though the result was disappointing.

“Of course we wanted to get off to a winning start to the year. We should have done better from the start and that result is what happens when you don’t start correctly against teams like Swansea.

“It was gutting to concede early on but in those situations you just have to pick your heads straight back up.”

Harriott, whose contract expires at the end of the season, is now playing for his future along with a number of team-mates including Anssi Jaakkola, Paul McShane, John O’Shea, Dave Edwards and Joey van den Berg.

He confessed: “I think all of the players have been doing that (playing for their futures) anyway. You want to be at the club you’re at. I’m sure no player wants to leave.

“We’re all happy with how the manager wants us to play and we just need to stick together.”

Reading travel to Manchester United in the FA Cup third round this Saturday (12.30pm ko).