Former Blade staying for play-off push

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FORMER Sheffield United and Barnsley midfielder Brian Howard has dismissed speculation linking him with an imminent return to Southampton.

Instead Howard, who started his career with the League One club, insisted last night that he will remain at Reading until the end of the season.

Admitting that he wants “to play more” at the Madejski Stadium, Howard said: “When I have, I think I’ve performed well.

“There has been a lot of speculation about me going elsewhere but as far as I’m concerned I’m a Reading player.

“I’m joint top of the assists here, we’ve got games to go and I’m available.

“Hopefully I can play my part in getting this team into the play-offs.”

With Reading seventh in the Championship table, Howard added: “I think a few teams will be looking at us.”