Royals left back Nicky Shorey was delighted to play his first match since Christmas and help the Royals to a 4-0 FA Cup fourth round victory over Sheffield United.
Shorey revealed that a stern half time team-talk inspired the Royals to move up a gear or two in the second half - and was also pleased to see his former Royals teammate Dave Kitson return to Madejski Stadium.
"It's never as comfortable as it seems - we still had to work hard," he explained. "The first half wasn't the best from us and the gaffer made that known at half time.
"That helped us for the second half and we really pushed on. We had to up the tempo and the pace of the game and I think we really did that in the second half.
"I enjoyed getting out there and playing as it's been a little while. I couldn't shake off the virus for a while but I'm feeling better now and I was delighted with my first game back.
"It was nice to see him [Kitson] - he was part of one the best periods in the club's history so he's always going to be welcome here."
Ahead of Wednesday night's home clash with Chelsea, Shorey is not overawed by the task of the European Champions and believes it's simply another opportunity for Reading to clinch three points.
"The form has been excellent and all the lads have done really well. Hopefully we can keep that going," the defender added.
"To be honest, it's just another game. It's another chance to get three points on the board and help us with our survival bid."