Reading striker Sam Baldock has suggested that he will be set to remain at the club next season to fight for his place in the side, whilst also hinting at potential issues behind the scenes ahead of the summer window.
Baldock has endured a frustrating campaign on a personal note often finding himself down the pecking order making 28 appearances and only 11 starts, but the 31-year-old did come off the bench against Blackburn Rovers and manage to score the Royals’ second goal of the game in their 4-3 defeat.
Mark Bowen is the third manager that Baldock has worked with at Reading since he arrived at the club from Brighton in the summer of 2018, and with one year remaining on his contract he looks set to once again be facing the challenge of convincing the club he is the right player to lead the line for them in the Championship.
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Speaking to BBC Berkshire, via Berkshire Live, Baldock suggested that he is wanting to stay at the club and fight for more involvement in the side next season, whilst also hinting at issues off the field that will need to be addressed ahead of next term to help the Royals improve on this campaign.
He said: “I think there are a lot of changes which are going to happen over the summer.
“There are a host of players out of contract and there’s a lot of speculation so I’d be surprised if it’s the same dressing room come the start of the season.
“Definitely. On my part there is a lot of unfinished business.
“I know in the past not every manager or person higher up at the club has particularly wanted me at the club so I’ve got some doubters to prove wrong.
“From what I can see it’s not a straightforward club in terms of on the face of things, there is a lot more going on.
“I definitely have to stay true to myself, stay strong, honour my contract and give my all every day.
“I think I do that – I am trying to improve the young players every day and I don’t think anyone can question my attitude around the place.
“I’ll be here next season fighting for my place.”
It has unquestionably been a frustrating season on a personal level for Baldock who has found himself down the pecking order and not really having the full trust of Bowen as of yet, and his involvement in the side has been minimal really since the restart to the campaign.
However, Baldock is a player with vast amounts of experience in the Championship and still has something to offer for the Royals you feel, but it will be interesting to see whether he is able to convince Bowen as to his qualities over the summer ahead of next term.
It is always difficult for players to understand where they are if the club keeps making changes in the managerial department and makes as many signings as Reading have over the last few windows, so both Baldock and Royals supporters will be hoping to have more stability at the club over the next year or so.