Burnley FC defender Bikey looking forward to Reading reunion
ANDRE Bikey admits it will be a special day for him tomorrow as he takes on Reading for the first time.
The Cameroon international joined the Royals from Lokomotiv Moscow initially on loan in 2006, before Owen Coyle made him Burnley’s most expensive defender last summer.
Infamously, his last game for the club saw him sent off at Turf Moor in the play-off semi-final first leg, tearing his short off and hurling it to the ground.
And last season he was at the African Cup of Natons as Reading exacted revenge in the FA Cup.
The 25-year-old is looking forward to the game, and focussing on hopefully winning another three points: “It’s going to be a normal game but it is special for me.
“It’s my old club and I had a good relationship with everyone.
“But it’s about getting three points for us.
“If we win on Saturday we’ll try to get a good result at Villa and try to win at QPR.
“If we can do that it will give us a big lift because we will be comfortable in the table and we’ll be strong mentally to fight for automatic promotion.”
Steve Coppell gave Bikey his break in English football, and for that he is thankful: “It was my dream to play in England, definitely.
“I had trials elsewhere, but until you sign a contract it doesn’t mean that something’s going to happen.
“There are still a lot of players there I played with. Jimmy Kebe, Shane Long, Matt Mills is the captain now, Jem Karacan, the keeper Adam Federici, the gaffer and the assistant.
“It’s going to be a little bit strange for me to see the players. They are my friends.
“But that’s not the point. The most important thing for us is to get the win and try to move forward.”
Bikey is a passionate player, to say the least, and he remains philosophical about his last appearance for Reading: “I lost a lot after that game.
“But I have calmed down since then.
“I have the dvd at home and I watch it sometimes.
“The only thing I think is that anything can happen in football. There was a lot of passion involved.
“It was a key game. If we’d have got a draw there we were sure we could go on and get promotion.
“It was difficult for me at the time.
“But it’s football. You have to accept some situations and try to leave it behind.”
Meanwhile, Bikey is enjoying playing in the same side as the in-form Chris Eagles at present: “I’m especially happy for him because he plays like I want him to play.
“He is showing his best level.
“I’ve told him ‘I’m happy to defend for you when you make positive runs and play for the team’.
“I know he can get something positive for us because as soon as we score the better the game is going to be.
“We’re going to be a bit more relaxed.
“But if he does something positive for us I’m never going to shout at him.
“He’s in great form now and I hope he keeps going because he helps the team a lot.
“If we get two or three players playing like him now I’m 100% sure we’ll get promotion.
“He is sharp and quick.
“He’s not very powerful but he’s got skill.
“He’s got everything.
He’s a good player and I’m happy to play with him.”