Healthy rivalry helping Reading promotion bid

As Reading’s bid for a swift return to the Premier League continues to gather pace, a friendly rivalry between two fellow countrymen is spurring Steve Coppell’s charges onwards. Republic of Ireland pair Stephen Hunt and Kevin Doyle figure prominently in FourFourTwo's Top 50 Football League Players – featured in this month’s magazine, out now – and Doyle says he is glad to have gained the upper hand. “It was important to finish ahead of Stephen Hunt. If he’d got more votes than me it would only have been because his mates were making multiple votes,” quipped the striker. Doyle, who has netted 18 times this season to date - six behind Wolves talisman Sylvan Ebanks-Blake - still has ambitions of becoming the division’s leading scorer – and Hunt believes he’s capable of it. “I know he’ll be itching to break through the 20-goal barrier, in fact I’m confident he’ll finish as the division’s top scorer,” said the midfielder. Both Hunt and Doyle have signed new deals in recent months, bolstering the Royals’ chance of automatic promotion this season. Reading currently lie in 3rd place in the Championship, just four points outside the automatic promotion places. The new issue of FourFourTwo is out now, featuring: • Interviews with Kaka, Arshavin, Terry, Motty, Stam, Dave Mackay & the Chuckle Brothers • The Top 50 Football League Players • Football’s Top 20 Hoaxes • The Best Youth Team Ever • Inside The Damned United • Swansea vs Cardiff Plus a FREE 36-page England supplement READING FANS! Check’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: My Secret Vice Marcus Hahnemann, James Harper Ask A Silly Question Marcus Hahnemann Plus rate Royals players on Talentspotter