Stephen Quinn could be forgiven for wearing his tin hat at Hillsborough tonight.
Due to his Sheffield United connections, it is likely the midfielder’s name will be jeered when announced before kick-off and his every touch will be booed by the home faithful.
Quinn spent seven seasons at Bramall Lane, making 231 appearances for Wednesday’s arch rivals before moving to Hull City three years ago.
The Dubliner featured prominently in the Tigers’ promotion-winning season of 2012-13 and helped them reach the FA Cup final last year after scoring in their 5-3 semi-final triumph over the Blades.
Reading, still searching for their first Championship victory, snapped up Quinn on a free transfer in the summer after the Republic of Ireland international turned down a new contract offer at Hull. Steve Clarke, the Royals boss, is a big admirer of Quinn’s industrious, unassuming qualities.
Quinn says he is gradually adjusting to life down south but admitted: “It was obviously going to be difficult moving from Sheffield where I lived for 12 years but I felt I was ready for it.
“I nearly got a nosebleed coming down the motorway a first. I got lost a couple of times as well.”
It is not just Quinn in Reading’s ranks who has previously represented the red and white side of the Steel City divide. With Pavel Pogrebnayk and Garath McCleary sidelined by ankle and calf injuries respectively, Nick Blackman is expected to keep his place in the Royals’ starting eleven.
New boy Alex Fernandez may feature, having arrived on a season long-loan deal from La Liga side Espanyol.