Lita outlines international hope
By Chris Stanton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Reading striker Leroy Lita believes a successful season can push his international claims.
Leroy Lita is hoping a successful debut campaign in The Premiership with Reading can help to cement his claims for a starting slot with England Under-21s.
The 21-year-old striker has so far been capped just twice by Under-21s coach Peter Taylor, but an extended run in the top flight could see him inch up the pecking order.
Barring Luke Moore, none of Lita's chief rivals for an attacking place - Cameron Jerome, Izale McLeod and David Nugent - are Premiership performers and the former Bristol City man hopes that could tip the balance in his favour.
"I'm still eligible for the Under-21s and was in the last squad. There is another game next month but I have to make sure I am doing it for my club," said Lita.
"I played in the last game, which was at Reading. There are too many of us up front though, that's the problem."
The £1 million signing scored 11 goals last season in The Championship to help The Royals romp to the league title, but he insists it will be an altogether different prospect in the forthcoming campaign.
Citing the example of Sunderland, whose immediate relegation reached ignominious proportions, with the lowest number of points ever garnered in The Premiership, Lita has called on his team-mates to put aside last season's achievement.
"It will take a lot more to do well in the Premiership," said Lita. "Sunderland went up as champions and weren't the best last season but we are not looking to copy them. We are looking to get ourselves sharp and ready and when we do get out there perform to our best."