By teatime on Saturday, the Royals could potentially have a top-six finish sewn up if they manage to earn a third straight win from their trip to Nottingham Forest.
Wrapping up the play-off position with two games to spare would be quite an achievement for the side...
“That would be nice!” said gaffer Jaap Stam about the prospect of sealing the deal this weekend.
“But everybody knows the position Forest are in – they need to have their points and get wins to stay in the Championship. So it’s going to be a very hard game and another challenge for us.
“It’s nice to play against other teams that have something to play for as well. It’s really going to be a battle over there. We need to have a result as well – we want to make sure as quick as we can that we will be in that top six, and by winning against Forest it will take us a step closer.
“But it’s not going to be easy. They have a good side with good players; they might be towards the bottom of the league, but that doesn’t mean they are a bad side. They have good spirit if they succeed in doing well.”
Indeed, despite the lowly position of the Midland club, they have a remarkable home record against some of the division’s top sides.
Brighton, Newcastle, Huddersfield and Leeds have all fallen to defeats from their trips to the City Ground… and with Forest having the extra incentive of survival at this stage of the season, he feels his side need to be switched on once again.
“When we played them over here, we won that game… but it was a very difficult match,” he continued. “I remember in the second half they made it very hard for us to get the three points.
“We’ve spoken about it before, but there is no easy game. And especially at this stage of the season, you need to dig in deep to get results – it’s not all about nice football, it’s about getting results and working together to do that.
“These can be the hardest games to play. A lot of people think that because we’re in a good position in the table and we’re playing teams towards the bottom that it will be easy. It’s not.
“It is going to be even harder to get results and perhaps by playing in a different way to normal and using a lot of physique in their game. We need to be aware of that.”
Heading to the City Ground this weekend? The Canalhouse is our away supporters’ pub – find out more by clicking here!