Reading striker Jason Roberts keen to play after working hard to rebuild fitness

Jason Roberts: Confident that Reading's first win is just around the corner

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Jason Roberts can understand why he has been overlooked for a starting berth this season but has been putting a lot of effort in to rebuild fitness and hopes to play more regularly.

Roberts says the priority is that Reading perform well and stay in the Premier League and he is ready for duty if manager Brian McDermott decides it is time to make a change.

"I had a bit of a calf problem which has taken time to heal so I have been a bit wary about throwing myself in to it and the manager has agreed with me," the striker said.

"But I have built up my substitute appearances and I have played reserve games. Of course I want to play but when he does call on me I will be ready to work hard.

"The most important thing is the club and it staying in the league."

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The former Blackburn man has been encouraged by recent displays from the Royals and thinks it will not be long before they achieve their first victory.

"The performances have been better than the results, but that's the Premier League for you," he said.

"As a group we are new to this league, but we have a strong squad. We are disappointed with the results but we believe that will change.

"We believe in each other's ability and we have a good chance of turning things around. That first win is on its way."

Reading's opponents on Saturday are Fulham, who have a reputation for struggling on their travels but have picked up four points on the road so far this term.

Martin Jol's side have coped admirably since losing Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele to Tottenham, and Roberts expects a tight encounter.

"Fulham at home is an opportunity for us," Roberts added.

"But they are a good side and I'm pretty sure they will come here thinking it is a good opportunity for themselves."