FORMER Reading FC star Ian Harte has backed Royals to escape relegation this season.

The former left-back discussed about the Royals' chances of survival, with the team currently sat 18th in the Championship, four points off the relegation zone. 

Harte said: "I don’t think they will get relegated. They definitely have got the quality to stay in the league and in all honesty, they should be doing a lot better.

"People are saying the manager is under a bit of pressure at the moment but it’s a similar group of players to last season, they’re just not getting the rub of the green at the moment.

"They’ve brought in Chris Martin and he’s a very good Championship player. He isn’t the quickest, but he bullies a lot of defenders and he will get goals as well if you give him ammunition in the box."

Harte also spoke about Reading's transfer window, and hinted they will do well to keep hold of star centre-back Liam Moore in the summer.

Speaking to Betstars, he said: "Liam Moore is another very good player and I hope he stays at Reading because I hear that a lot of Premier League clubs are interested in taking him."

Reading travel to Middlesbrough this weekend and will look to bounce back from last week's defeat to Millwall, and distance themselves further away from the drop. 

Harte was part of the Royals team that was relegated from the Premier League in the 2012-13 season, and knows all too well how hard it is to beat the drop.

He explained: "It’s always going to be difficult for any team that gets promoted to the Premier League. Unless you spend a lot of money, you’re fighting a losing battle. 

"On a shoestring budget it is only a matter of time until you’re relegated. I loved my time at Reading, it’s a great club with great people and hopefully they can get out of the rut they are in at the moment."