Dave Kitson: Reading relegation still affects Sheffield United striker

Dave Kitson

Sheffield United striker Dave Kitson has admitted he is still affected by the hurt of being relegated from the top flight with Reading five years ago.

The 33-year-old returns to the Madejski Stadium with the Blades in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

Kitson made 34 appearances as the Royals dropped out of the Premier League after two seasons in May 2008.

"It was an absolutely horrendous time, I'll never get over it because it nearly cost me everything," he said.

"You are responsible for people losing their jobs and you are coming into training in your nice car and you see people carrying boxes of their possessions out. You just think, 'I did that, that's my fault'.

"It has affected me to this day and I nearly lost everything over what happened there."

Kitson scored 60 goals in 147 games during his initial five-year stint with Reading before leaving for Stoke for £5.5 million in the wake of their relegation.

He struggled for form at the Potters and rejoined the Berkshire side on loan the following season before eventually moving on to Portsmouth in September 2010.

The former Cambridge man says he still keeps across Reading's results.

"They're my team and they're the team I take my son to watch," he told BBC Radio Sheffield.

"I always have a chat with [Reading boss] Brian McDermott after their games, whatever the result, He was the one who convinced Steve Coppell to take a chance on me and I can never thank him enough for that.

"I really hope he can keep them on their current run and they can survive."