Reading 'need Premier League', says chief executive Nigel Howe

Recent signing Yakubu scored in Reading's win over Derby in the FA Cup fifth round

Reading chief executive Nigel Howe says the club are looking for an early return to the Premier League.

The club are owned by a Thai consortium after Anton Zingarevich left in June.

Reading were relegated to the Championship in 2013 and are currently 17th in the Championship, just seven points above the relegation places.

But Howe told BBC Radio Berkshire: "They definitely don't see Reading, with its potential, staying out of the Premier League for very long."

He continued: "I think they did feel with the squad we had we potentially would get into a play-off position this year.

"With our set-up at the moment, our academy, we need to be in the Premier League."

The club has faced a number of problems in the fallout from the Zingarevich era and were forced to sell striker Adam Le Fondre in May to pay an outstanding tax bill to HM Revenue and Customs.

"When you have caused disruption in scouting, in recruitment, in your whole structure, it is very difficult to recover from that very quickly," said Howe.

Under manager Steve Clarke and with the Thai consortium's backing, he hopes the club can now begin to build momentum.

The Royals face Bradford in quarter-finals of the FA Cup next month and Howe hopes the "feelgood factor" of the competition will help them stay clear of a relegation battle and put the early season disappointment behind them.

"This gives us an opportunity to get into the semi-finals. I think 1927 was the last time. I think it's a great boost for the club," Howe added.