Chris Gunter says the players coming through Reading’s academy should follow the example of Andy Rinomhota.
Signed from AFC Portchester in 2015, Rinomhota came through the youth set-up with the Royals, made his debut in August 2017 and has recently broken into the first team on a regular basis, starting the past six games.
Despite Reading’s poor form, Rinomhota, now 21, has been one of the stand-out performers with his composure and drive in midfield including during Saturday’s defeat against Sheffield United.
And Gunter, who is now in his seventh season in Berkshire, has been impressed by the young midfielder.
“Andy has been fantastic,” said Gunter.
“He’s been with us from the back end of last season and certainly all through pre-season and has been chipping away.
“He’s done what every young player at this club should look to. He should be the example of how he’s had to really wait for his chance and he’s taken it.
“He should be the one that the younger boys look to at this club, the way he handles himself around the squad and he’s done really well.”
He added: “Andy and Danny (Loader) have come in and done well in not the easiest circumstances.
“It’s easier when you’re going into a team that’s doing well or performing better and they’re around a more confident bunch.”
Following the dismissal of Paul Clement last week, Under-23s boss Scott Marshall took charge of the first team on a caretaker basis for Saturday’s defeat against Sheffield United.
Marshall stepped up having guided the U23s to 14 games unbeaten, a run which ended when they were without their boss at the weekend.
But Gunter says he should be proud of the work going on in the academy.
“When I was coming back from injury I played a game with Scott and the younger ones,” said Wales’ record caps holder.
“I think results sometimes at that level, they’re different because you have different strengths of teams you play against. We’ve got a real strong group of younger boys who know each other and with Scott do really well.
“You would hope that if you’re looking down over the next few years that there’s younger boys coming through as we’ve always had here and they can come and impact the team.
“I think that’s one of the things that Reading is quite proud of, having younger boys coming through and now if we’ve got another few with Scott, in what ever role he has, it’s always good for the club.”