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Page last updated at 11:39 GMT, Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Southampton target Brian Howard aims to stay at Reading

Brian Howard
Howard joined Reading from Sheffield United in 2009

Reading's Brian Howard says he believes he has much to contribute to the team as they push for the play-offs.

The midfielder confirmed Southampton had been interested in signing him on loan but added that he hopes to stay.

He told BBC Berkshire: "[Manager Brian McDermott] said he didn't want me to go but if I really wanted to then I could.

"As far as I'm concerned, I'm coming back to Reading in a few days and want to make sure I stay in the team and am involved in the last nine games."

The 28-year-old added: "I want to contribute more to the team. The gaffer knows that and wants me around, so hopefully I can chip in with a couple of important goals, because we want promotion and there's no hiding that."

Howard has made 22 appearances for Reading, most recently starting against his former club Barnsley as the Royals won 1-0 at Oakwell last Saturday.

But Howard said it had been a difficult season for him.

"If you look through my career it's the least I've ever played and it's been frustrating from that point of view," he admitted.

"If you look at the games I have played in, there aren't too many where I've been on the losing side and I'm joint top with the assists, so I've contributed to the team.

"[McDermott] knows that I want to play football. He said to me that I'd been great for him, patient on the sidelines and when I played recently he'd been really happy with my performances and that I'd been unlucky not to find myself in the team."

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see also
Barnsley 0-1 Reading
19 Mar 11 |  Championship
Manchester City 1-0 Reading
13 Mar 11 |  FA Cup
Barnsley boss wants Howard return
21 Jan 11 |  Barnsley
Armstrong to retire because of MS
08 Mar 11 |  Reading
Mills thrilled with 'dream' win
02 Mar 11 |  Reading

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