Sat, Sep 23, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Seol hoping to boost club's profile

LACKING GLAMOR The Reading winger is hoping a good result today against the Red Devils will boost his and his new club's profile back home in South Korea


Reading's Seol Ki-hyeon celebrates his goal against Sheffield United during their Premiership match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield, England, last Saturday.


Seol Ki-hyeon wants to lead Reading to a shock win over Manchester United today so he can raise his new club's profile in South Korea.

Seol, 27, became the third South Korean to play in the Premiership, following United's Park Ji-sung and Tottenham's Lee Young-pyo, after he joined Reading in pre-season.

But he admits to being envious of the attention his two international team-mates receive because they play for more glamorous clubs.

A win against United would be the perfect way to get his share of the spotlight, even though Park, who is recovering from ankle surgery, will not feature for United.

Reading, promoted from the Championship last season, were tipped for relegation by many experts but they have won three of their first five matches to reach sixth place.

Beating Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and company at the Madejski Stadium would be a dream for everyone connected with Reading, but Seol has high hopes that his participation in the game will make his team more popular back home.

He said: "There are some big games coming up and to play against Manchester United is a dream for me. They have a lot of fans over in South Korea. These people didn't know about Reading before but they do now that we're starting to play well in the top division."

"Everyone knows Park at Manchester United. I'm nowhere near as big as him but people are beginning to take notice of Reading." Seol added. "Unfortunately, he's injured at the moment. It's unlucky for him but all I can do is try and play well myself. We have nothing to lose against Manchester United. You never know what can happen in football."

Seol scored his first Reading goal since his ?1.5 million (US$2.85 million) pre-season move from Wolverhampton in the win at Sheffield United last weekend.

If Reading beat United, Chelsea have a chance to replace surprise leaders Portsmouth, who don't play until Monday, at the top of the table.

Jose Mourinho's side face west London rivals Fulham at Craven Cottage today and Czech Republic goalkeeper Petr Cech is expecting another ruthless display from his back-four.

Cech had kept 53 clean sheets in 94 games for Chelsea and has only conceded once in four matches since returning from a shoulder injury.

He believes that impregnable rearguard is the secret to Chelsea's dominance of English soccer and said: "We've always played well in defense. It's been the key to our success and I'm happy we've been able to keep going with that."

"It's always important and we always try to build up from good defense. Keep a clean sheet and you only have to score one to win," he said. "We have good players up front of course and hopefully we will score more goals and it will be easier for us. I don't set specific targets but every time I play I want to keep a clean sheet. I absolutely hate conceding goals."

Cech insists his side are beginning to hit their stride as players recover from their World Cup exertions.

He warned the rest of the Premiership that Chelsea will only get better and said: "We had a difficult start to the season. We had so many players at the World Cup and many players came back late and came back tired.

"We started straight away in the competitions and it wasn't easy. We need a little time to settle down," Cech said. "We have improved already and we can be better. We are progressing everyday step-by-step and there's still a lot to come from this team. I hope we prove it in the coming days."

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