Coach thrilled with youth and experience
Chris Cummins described yesterday's friendly at Bournemouth as a 'win-win situation', as his youngsters gained experience alongside first-team players - who had an important run-out.
The Royals won 3-0 in Dorset
, with former Cherries loanee Jem Karacan breaking the deadlock on his comeback, and recent Premier League debutant Dominic Samuel scoring a second half brace.
"They're great, these games," he said. "It's important the lads get something out of it - it's good to see Hartey, Gunter and Jem Karacan back after a long time.
"Bournemouth played some really good stuff. It was a really good footballing game - very competitive on a decent surface. I didn't think there was a poor player on the pitch.
"And we're all pleased with Dominic Samuel - he did well to pick up another two goals. Overall, I was really pleased with the game.
"The key thing was that all the lads came through the game with no knocks or injuries - and it gives the gaffer a good problem for the weekend."
Samuel isn't the only youngster catching the eye this season, with a number of Royals Academy products in fine form - fresh off the back of a 5-1 FA Youth Cup win over Brentford.
"It's great to have some young players involved too - we had Niall Keown, 17 years of age, playing with Alex Pearce who looked great.
"I'm not afraid to put players in like that - Aaron Kuhl is only 16 and he played for half an hour and it didn't faze him at all. The club have got this policy - if you're good enough then you can play."
"We had the manager there, along with Nigel Gibbs and Nick Hammond. It's a win-win situation - we've seen the likes of Jem Karacan and Danny Guthrie get vital minutes while the young players get good experience."