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Reading goalkeeper hoping to secure promotion for suspended skipper

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Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi is hoping that his side can win promotion to the Premier League for suspended captain Paul McShane, reports Sky Sports.

The Republic of Ireland international was sent off in their 1-1 draw with Fulham in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final on Saturday, and as a result will miss the return leg on Tuesday, as well as the final at Wembley should Jaap Stam’s side prevail.

The 31-year-old has been a key part of the Royals’ march to third place in the division this term, starting 30 of their 46 league games, but will now certainly miss the remainder of the campaign for a high tackle on Kevin McDonald.

Yet goalkeeper Al-Habsi, voted the club’s Player of the Season for the second successive year, hopes that his side can reach the promised land to make McShane’s return to the side in August a pleasant one.

He said: ‘Everyone feels sorry for Macca that he won’t be playing – but I feel sure we can win the match and get to Wembley and the Premier League for him.

‘Macca has been fantastic since he came to Reading as skipper, he has the respect of the players and the fans.

‘We lost a key player in Macca, that can happen, but the squad has been fantastic all season and we will manage to play well without him.’

Stam’s side go into Tuesday’s second leg as favourites given their impressive home record in the Championship this season, which saw them win 16 of their 23 matches, and lose just the twice to Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers.

Reading got the better of Slavisa Jokanovic’s side in the league fixture at the Madejski Stadium back in January, beating the Cottagers 1-0 thanks to Roy Beerens’ second half strike, and the hosts will know that a repeat of that on Tuesday will book their place in the play-off final at Wembley on May 29.

Reading fans… what do you make of Al-Habsi’s comments? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!


ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Reading goalkeeper hoping to secure promotion for suspended skipper

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