Former Real Madrid winger enjoying life in the Championship

Reading FC Stadium crest

Ex-Premier League and La Liga winger claims life in the Championship with Reading is 'crazy' as his team push for promotion to the Premier League.

Following victory over Charlton Athletic on Saturday to create a five point gap between 6th and 7th placed Nottingham Forest, Reading player Royston Drenthe has claimed that the Championship trumps the top leagues in Europe in terms of entertainment and enjoyment.

Speaking after the game - in which the left-footed winger played on the right of a four-man midfield - Drenthe told BBC Berkshire, "I'm always talking about it with my team-mates, it is the craziest league I've ever been in. Every game is so tough."

Having played 46 times in La Liga with Real Madrid, and been part of their 2007-08 title winning side, as well as in the Eredivisie with Feyenoord and the Premier League with Everton, Drenthe has the experience required to make this claim. Rather than preferring La Liga, Drenthe claims that the competitiveness of the Championship makes every game hard.

"In some leagues you know a team will win a particular game," he said. "But here even if one team has a better squad, you look after the game and you see a crazy score."

Considering Real Madrid had an eight-point advantage over second-placed Villarreal when Drenthe won the title there, the challenge for the players in the English second-tier is bound to be harder, and Drenthe admitted that Tuesday's visit to Bournemouth will be a challenge.

Bournemouth - who suffered a questionable start to the season, conceding 12 goals in their first four games - have recently found themselves with an outside shot of reaching the playoffs, and victory over Harry Redknapp's Queens Park Rangers on Saturday closed the gap on Reading to five points - a gap which could be further reduced to two points if they achieve victory over their promotion rivals on Tuesday evening.

Drenthe admitted that his teammates are wary of the threat posed by Eddie Howe's men:

"It won't be easy, they just won at QPR and that's a really good result for them. We come to their place so it will be a really difficult game, they are just five points behind us and will give 150%."

Although the Reading squad is full of undoubted talent, Bournemouth are on a run of four consecutive victories, and Drenthe has opined the feelings sensed around both clubs on the cusp of this vital match. Both sets of fans know that if Reading win they will tighten their grasp on the final playoff spot, but if Bournemouth win, then breaking their run of form will be nigh-on impossible.

Although the Dutchman struggled in England on his arrival to the Premier League - Drenthe only played 21 times for Everton during the 2011-12 season - he has admitted that after settling down, he is enjoying his football much more:

"It's a league with so many tough games and so many good quality players, people from outside can't imagine what it is like. But I've now been in it for almost a year and I enjoy it very much, it's a nice experience."

Even though these words suggest a love of the Championship, there is no denying that he would love to swap it for a chance to impress in the Premier League once again.

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