Reading turn to former Portsmouth and Leeds striker following decision to sack Paul Ince
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The Royals have appointed the Irishman as interim boss until the end of the season.
Hunt has five games to keep Reading in the Championship, with Ince’s departure coming after eight matches without a win.
That, coupled with a six-point reduction imposed last week, leaves the Royals third from bottom in the table, a point from safety – but with one game extra played than Cardiff, who currently sit outside the relegation zone.
Ince lost his job following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Preston on Monday.
A club statement read: ‘Ince took the reins on a permanent basis in the summer and, having to cope with strict transfer embargo restrictions, he helped to piece together a new squad on a much-reduced wage budget - and with five wins from our first seven home games the season began brightly.
‘However, without a win in our last eight matches and with a relegation battle to fight following a six-point deduction imposed last week, owner Mr Dai Yongge has decided that a change is needed.’
Hunt has been with Reading since February 2022, returning to his former stomping ground after coaching spells at Swindon and Doncaster Rovers.
He made 20 league appearances for Pompey, scoring once, as the Blues secured the League Two title in 2017.
Hunt scored 36 goals in 162 appearances for the Royals between 2008 and 2013.
If the 40-year-old is unable to save the club from the drop, Pompey will return to the Madejski Stadium next season for the first time since their 2011-12 Championship campaign.