'Shattered' Kitson happy to give FA Cup a miss

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The Independent Online

The Reading striker Dave Kitson maintains that he is not interested in playing at Tottenham, the team he supported as a boy, for the second time in a week because this time it is an FA Cup match.

The two sides met in the league five days ago and Kitson was delighted to score twice, albeit in a 6-4 White Hart Lane reverse. But the 27-year-old would rather have a rest than return following an exhausting stint up front on his own against Portsmouth yesterday, when the Royals played almost the whole game a man down and ended up losing 2-0.

He said: "We are not going to win the FA Cup and I do not give two shits about it, to be honest. I care about staying in the Premier League, as does everybody at this club.

"Our Premier League status is not protected by winning the FA Cup and it is as simple as that.

"It is a fantastic competition and perhaps one day we will be in a position where we can compete for it but not now."

Kitson would not have started anyway as manager Steve Coppell uses cup ties to give fringe players game time regardless of the opposition, and given that the Pompey game was the second in three fixtures that the Royals have ended down to 10 men, his first choices are in need of a rest.

Kitson added: "We have just come off the back of some fixtures that have been tightly packed together and we have played almost two full games with 10 men. I am absolutely shattered and so is Kevin Doyle and a lot of the other players are as well."

Portsmouth picked up their seventh away win of the season thanks to goals from Sol Campbell and John Utaka but Reading defender Ibrahima Sonko had made it easy for them by getting himself sent off in only the third minute.

The centre-back has struggled to recapture the form that made him a Madejski Stadium favourite before a serious knee injury kept him on the sidelines for nine months.

Having returned in October, he is now about to join up with the Senegal squad for the African Nations Cup and has vowed to return a better player.

He said: "It has been a bad time for me and I will have to switch on again when I am back from Africa. I need a break as I have given too many points away.

"Hopefully the lads can handle things when I am away and I will start afresh when I am back. It will be a great break for me to go away. I feel a bit slow."