Reading will not fear Chelsea

Midfielder insists the underdogs will show they have some bite

Mikele Leigertwood: The Reading midfielder believes Reading have got what it takes to stay in the Premier League

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Mikele Leigertwood has called on his Reading team-mates to show no fear when they visit European champions Chelsea on Wednesday night.

The Premier League new-boys will face the recently crowned kings of Europe, who have been strengthened over the summer with arrivals which include Eden Hazard and Oscar.

But Reading have been busy themselves in the transfer market with boss Brian McDermott bring in eight new faces at the Madejski Stadium, including the talented Pavel Pogrebnyak.

And Leigertwood points to the success of last year's surprise packages Swansea and Norwich, who not only avoided the drop, but also finished in mid-table.

And the combative midfielder wants to see a similar no-nonsense attacking approach from Reading this year that saw them earn a draw with Stoke in their opening game when they face Chelsea.

Attack

"You can't go in to any games fearing teams or sitting back. You have to attack and put teams under pressure and I'm sure we'll do that," Leigertwood said.

"We have pace in the side and strength up front with Pog (Pavel Pogrebnyak).

"We'll play with a high tempo and that will be good for us. We want to give a good account of ourselves and go there and win hopefully.

"We have taken belief from watching teams like Swansea, Norwich and QPR. They all stayed up and it shows that if you go and attack you can do well in this league."

Leigertwood knows only too well the pitfalls of sitting back in the Premier League having sampled relegation with both Sheffield United and Crystal Palace.

Determined

And the 29-year-old admits he is desperate to avoid that feeling again with Reading.

"Being relegated is never nice so I am more determined than ever," he added.

"I want to go that one step further than I did with Palace and stay up and hopefully finish my career in the Premier League.

"It feels good to be back in the Premier League. Every footballer wants to be playing at the top of their game against the best players in the league so for me it's fantastic."