Reading's Adam Le Fondre puts Manchester United loyalties aside

United travel to Reading this weekend

Adam Le Fondre is ready to risk a family feud by helping Reading beat the club he grew up idolising.

Lifelong Manchester United fan Le Fondre admitted taking on the team he still supports was "fairytale" stuff for a player who was plying his trade in npower League Two as recently as last year.

But the former Stockport, Rochdale and Rotherham striker insisted he would have no qualms scoring the goal that denied United top spot in the Barclays Premier League tomorrow if it helped Reading in their bid to beat the drop.

Le Fondre was raised as a United fan and, asked about the prospect of scoring, said: "I don't think my dad will be pleased."

The same could not be said for his dad's brother, whose family all follow champions Manchester City, the team which stands to profit from any Reading victory this weekend.

"It's going to be a great occasion for me personally and, obviously, for my family as well," Le Fondre added.

"My dad loves United. He used to go to all the games.

"He used to travel away from home. I think he even went to a few of the European games."

Le Fondre's father passed on the United bug to his children, who grew up idolising the side who went on to dominate English football for the next two decades.

Players like Brian McClair and Eric Cantona were Le Fondre's early heroes and tomorrow's game at the Madejski Stadium gives him the chance to take on their modern counterparts Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez.

"You look at Rooney and Van Persie, they're two at the top of their game - world-class strikers," said Le Fondre, who admitted he would not be able to resist souvenir-hunting tomorrow.

"But I'm not here to swap shirts," he added.

"I'm here to win the three points and that's the main thing."

Reading have struggled to do that since winning the npower Championship last season, with just one Premier League victory to their name.

But the man whose goals secured that solitary win against Everton insisted he had taken the step up in his stride.

Le Fondre, who has struck three times this season, said: "Personally, I've found it a little bit easier in the Premier League.

"I've probably had more chances in the Premier League than I did in the Championship when I first went and made the step up."

That step up came at the beginning of last season, when Reading boss Brian McDermott took a chance on a lower-league striker.

"To come from where I've come from and achieve what I've achieved in a short space of time, it seems strange for me and almost like fairytale stuff," Le Fondre said.

Reading have not beaten the visitors for almost 86 years but Le Fondre was confident history could be made against a side who have looked vulnerable this season, despite leading the table.

"If we play to our full potential and implement our game plan on United, I think they'll struggle against us," the 25-year-old said.

"If we get right in their faces and stop them playing, like we did to Everton in the second half, I think they'll have a real problem."

Would his father really be that upset if that happened?

"He's just buzzing that I'm in the Premier League," Le Fondre said of the man who gave up watching United regularly to coach his young sons' teams.

"He's just so proud of me and I'm obviously proud for my dad as well because he's helped me become the player that I am today.

"Without him, I wouldn't have got here."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea