Hunt expects fighting talk on Boxing Day at Chelsea

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The Independent Football

The Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt insists that he is looking forward to the Royals' trip to Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day and intends to send a Christmas card to Petr Cech.

The clubs will meet for the first time since their controversial match at the Madejski Stadium in October when the goalkeeper Cech suffered a fractured skull after a collision with Hunt in the first minute of the Blues' 1-0 victory.

The Czech international is making good progress with his recovery and is hoping to return to full training next month.

Hunt told BBC Sport Online: "If I see Petr then I would like to talk to him. Privately, not publicly. I have written to him since the game at the Madejski Stadium and I will probably send him a Christmas card."

The 25-year-old is adamant that he is relishing the game despite having received hate mail and death threats, and is fully expecting a hostile reception from the Chelsea fans.

"Thinking of Stamford Bridge won't ruin my Christmas. Chelsea away is a big game and will be a hostile atmosphere but that's good. As a footballer my Christmas is all about games anyway - and you look forward to going to Stamford Bridge.

"I'm sure if I got a kick then the person coming to Reading would get booed. I can't affect the reception I get - all I can affect is what I do on the pitch. But at the same time, people are not stupid. They know it was an accident and the majority of people - probably the majority of Chelsea fans - know I didn't mean it."

A furore ensued in the days after the game with the Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho accusing Hunt of deliberately hurting Cech - although the Football Association did not issue any charges.

The former Brentford and Crystal Palace player said: "It would be good to talk to Mourinho. He has won two European championships and two Premiership titles in four or five years so he is obviously a good manager. But he looks after Chelsea's football team, he doesn't look after Reading's."