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Sunday 17 December 2017

Broken nose no barrier for Royals acePearce

READING boss Steve Clarke has praised the bravery of Ireland defender Alex Pearce after he ignored the pain of a broken nose to play a role in his club's FA Cup battle.

The Royals are still in he Cup following the weekend draw with Bradford City, a game where Pearce gave blood for the cause. The Irish international had to change his kit before coming back on to the field, such was the amount of blood involved, and that attitude pleased manager Clarke.

"I was delighted with the attitude from the players, it was top class," says Clarke.

"And I thought it was typified by our captain coming back on with a broken nose, nothing was going to stop him. His nose is miles over here somewhere! But he went back on, a proper centre half.

"It would have been easy to say I'm not going back on, but no Alex said patch me up, straighten it later and he was straight back on the pitch."

Meanwhile, their Championship rivals Charlton hope to have Ireland keeper Stephen Henderson back in the side for next weekend's clash with Blackburn.

The Dubliner was forced off at half time in Saturday's 2-1 win over Cardiff but the injury to Henderson, who only last month returned after a long absence, is not serious.

Charlton Boss Guy Luzon said: "Henderson twisted his ankle, but he should be back for the next game."

With five wins in six games, Charlton have pulled away from the relegation zone.

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