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Liam Moore On How Reading FC Move Was About More Than Just Football

Defender will remain happy at the club whether they win the play-offs or not.

Reading v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Ahead of the Championship play-off semi-final with Fulham, Reading star Liam Moore made clear that his move to the club has been a success on and off the pitch no matter the outcome next week.

The ex-Leicester man has embedded himself as a key man in the Royals backline and in a league where he has previous, winning the Championship in 2014 with the Foxes.

"It wasn't in my thinking when I joined to go straight back up to the Premier League," Moore said during Wednesday's pre-match press conference.

"I had a very tough 18 to 20 months, I went on a loan [to Bristol City] that wasn't ideal. It wasn't good timing, with the birth of my child and I was 300 odd miles away.

"It put a lot of fire in my belly and I told my missus that next year I'll write my own history. I'm very happy here and we're moving places, this season or not, and going in the right direction.

"There was no point me staying in the stands at Leicester, I took a pay cut as I wanted to play football and it's made me happy. The club had a very long fight getting me here, it wasn't easy at all.

"I've got a long term contract here and I want to be part of something pushing in the right direction and if [Stam] is here that'll always be the case.

"As a young player it's difficult getting shipped out on loan and here now I'm settled, I've got a house here and this is my base. This is my home now, not Leicester, and as I'm happy and comfortable I feel like I can perform better on a game day.

"It's been a fantastic season no matter what happens."

Going to Craven Cottage, many have Reading pinned as the less likely side to win, despite finishing third in the regular season, although Moore is not fussed about such an assessment.

"Underdogs an enjoyable place to be," he continued. "Not many people thought we'd be where we are this season and the stats don't lie, we've finished in third position. It's been a fantastic season and if people want to write us off before ball is kicked that's fine.

"I'd say the pundits and bookmakers are not always correct and I was at Leicester who were around a 5000/1 miracle last season. It's two sets of players and let the best squad win on the day.

"The play-offs do crazy things to people, your livelihood is at stake as you could go to the top and remain where you are so it can go either way."

Going into the first leg, the centre-back maintained that the 5-0 defeat early in the campaign will have no bearing when the Royals return to West London.

"We've looked at previous games and we know that that was a bad game for us," said Moore. "We've moved on a lot since [the 5-0], we've grown and matured as a team. It was a very different team on the day as well, so we wan't look into that game too much.

"Look at the [1-0 win] at the Madejski, we had improved from the first time around and we need to do that again."

Moore also insisted that the squad is looking mentally prepared to tackle the daunting task of a make or break double-header.

"Nobody seems to be overreacting, we don't need to drain ourselves in the week leading up to the game," he said.

"The lads in good spirit so we're ready to kick on. If we can go there and get a positive result that'll be very good for us. I know 100 percent of the lads would rather be here than on the beach. It means you've done something positive and it's a great occasion."

Joseph Mendes has also been a hot topic of conversation since his resurgent run, and Moore revealed that he's always had confidence in the striker's ability.

"I like Jospeph a lot," he noted. "He stayed very patient when it was difficult for him and I'm confident in him. I told him before the Villa game that if he does what he does in training then he'll be fine."

Reading kick off the play-offs away to Fulham on Saturday at 17:30 before the return game on Tuesday, which begins at 19:45 from the Mad Stad.