Former Football League defender David Artell has labelled Reading a 'big fish' following their relegation to League One.

Artell, who had a 20-year playing career, spent five years in charge of Crewe Alexandra until last year.

Winning League Two with the Railwaymen, Artell kept them in the third tier for two seasons before succumbing to relegation.

Low down on the current odds to take over in Berkshire, he can be got at 66/1 on BetVictor.

Speaking about the proposition on the 1871 Podcast, Artell remained coy on his future role.

"In terms of the odds, I’m saying this genuinely and there’s no subtext at all, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to any of the managers odds until it gets really close to the end- by which point most people know," he said. "That’s not trying to rule me in or rule me out, or rule anyone in or out, that’s across the board. Bookmakers don’t tend to know; they just hope someone has a punt."

Asked for his assessment of the Royals, who are making a return to League One for the first time in 20 years, Artell believes they would attract good names.

"I see Reading now as a rebuilding job. It’s not a catastrophic oblivion, I don’t think, they’re not Bury-esque. I inherited a football club in my previous job that needed rebuilding. The team needed rebuilding; it was on a shoestring. I think I get the best out of people when their backs are against the wall, I see that as Reading right now. I also think, not to be contrary, they are a big fish in League One. I don’t think anyone can say Reading aren’t a big club or going to be a big club in League One, even in the current climate.

Reading Chronicle:

"I think they’re a big draw for players and coaches, but they’re in a rebuilding phase. They’ve got some good people at the club, but it’s going to take some time. Would it surprise me if Reading didn’t get promoted next year? Not at all. It might actually be beneficial in the long run to get some really solid foundations. However, you don’t want to be in League One for longer than you need to be."