JON DADI Bodvarsson insists he will respect Reading FC boss Jaap Stam’s decision if he is relegated to the bench tomorrow despite his FA Cup hat-trick heroics.

The Icelandic striker put League Two Stevenage to the sword in Tuesday night’s third-round replay at a near-empty Madejski Stadium – the 4,986 attendance the lowest since 2001.

And in doing so he may have become the first player to score a hat-trick wearing two different shirts after Royals were ordered to change into their orange away strip for the second half due to a kit-clash with Stevenage.

The ex-Wolves striker showed his class for his second goal with an eye-catching header from the edge of the penalty area following Chris Gunter’s inch-perfect delivery.

But Stam has often favoured veteran forward Yann Kermorgant in league matches this season after his 19-goal haul in the previous campaign.

The Dutchman has also been linked with a loan swoop for out-of-favour Derby County forward Chris Martin after the Rams snapped up Cameron Jerome from Norwich City this week.

But 25-year-old Bodvarsson said he will hold no grudges if he is not picked to start against Brentford at Madejski Stadium this Saturday (3pm ko).

“It’s healthy for the manager,” stated Bodvarsson.

“If you have competition in the team then it makes you a better player.

“I’ve been very focused this season. I’m not just fighting to get in to the starting XI.

“It’s not in my control so whatever the manager does I will follow.”

Reading Chronicle:

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson went home with the matchball after his hat-trick against Stevenage. Picture: Jason Dawson/jasonpix.

Bodvarsson, who joined Royals from Championship table-toppers Wolves over the summer, doubled his goal tally for the season on Tuesday night and now has six goals for the season – one behind Mo Barrow.

It was also the striker’s first hat-trick in English football.

“I can’t for ask any more than that,” he continued. “When you score a goal you’re looking for more and your confidence is high, but first and foremost I’m just happy for the team to go through.

“Scoring a hat-trick is a special moment in every player’s career.

“I asked the team to sign the ball for me so I can keep it for the memories. It’s a nice feeling.”

The win was Reading’s first in nine games in all competitions and sees them progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup where they will travel to Sheffield Wednesday, who defeated Carlisle 2-0 in another replay on Tuesday.

But Stam’s attention is now firmly set on Saturday’s clash with Bees when they will look for a first league win in eight matches.

And Bodvarsson concluded: “Brentford are a good team and they play good football.

“I’m expecting a good game and a much harder one than Stevenage because we’re playing a good Championship side.”

Stam will be without captain Paul McShane and midfielder John Swift after both suffered hamstring injuries in the 0-0 draw at Hull City last weekend.

Centre-back Liam Moore also faces a late fitness test after taking a knock to his ankle in the same game.