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Lille (A) Thu 23 Oct 2014, 18:00, Europa League

Goodison Return Excites Akpan

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Everton v Swansea

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Former Everton midfielder Hope Akpan is excited by his upcoming return to Goodison Park.
 
Akpan graduated from Everton's famous youth academy but left Merseyside in 2011 to join ambitious Crawley Town.
 
He helped them gain promotion to League One before being offered a return to the top flight by Reading in January.
 
The combative midfielder, now 21, has made a significant impact for the Royals and admits he's looking forward to adding to his only previous outing at Goodison - a substitute appearance against FC BATE Borisov in 2009.
 
"It's going to be an exciting game for me," he said. "First and foremost I am a Reading player and that is my main focus. I'm happy to be going back to Goodison Park and I'm super excited. I was there since I was eight and I had a lot of experiences there but you have to live in the moment."

Hope Akpan
 
There will be little time for sentiment as Akpan aims to help his new side avoid relegation back to the Championship.
 
Currently second from bottom, Reading lost 3-0 at home to survival rivals Wigan last time out.
 
"Any loss like that is tough to take," he said. "Obviously with the position we are in and the position Wigan are in, it was even tougher to take. We just need to use that pain to help us get the points we need to stay up.
 
"It is very tight, there are a lot of games left to play and a lot of points to play for and we need to go into the game with the belief we can win it. We still have that belief." 

Tickets to Saturday's game are available now and can be bought by calling 0871 663 1878*, visiting the box office, Everton Two or the TicketQuarter, or online here - those buying online can print at home.

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