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Halabi on tireless Royals

21 November 2012

Head of sports science delighted with players

During Saturday's magnificent win over Everton, the Royals covered more ground on the pitch than any Premier League side.

As wrote earlier this week, Brian McDermott's men amassed a staggering total of 67.2 miles - more or less equivalent of five Reading half marathons.

One man in particular who should be saluted for these results is Karl Halabi - head of sports science at the club for three years, as well as a Royals trainee in his youth. But, as Karl explained, they didn't come as a great shock to the coaching staff.

"I wasn't really surprised," he said. "I see how they work every day so they just carry that on into the game. We monitor the lads well and any one of the players is always ready to go into the team.

"There are a lot of variables to the stats - but from a fitness point of view I work really closely with a fantastic coach, physio and manager and we're very pleased.

"It's not solely down to one person - you've got to give credit to the players because they're working their socks off in every game. They try to out work their opponent in any which they can."

The Royals have enjoyed scoring late goals this season - four of their 14 Premier League strikes have come in the last 11 minutes - that's over a third. Halabi puts that down to the ethos at the club, which Brian McDermott and Nigel Gibbs are certainly responsible for.

"The ethos here is 'keep going' - and these guys can run until midnight. It's in their make up - Brian and Gibbo have installed that into them.

"From our point of view, we take care of them in the week, they eat the right food, the train the way they train - but they do the business on a match day."

Halabi says that the feel-good factor that was tangible in the summer months has continued - and feels that's largely down the staff that work at Reading Football Club.

"Even since we came back in after the summer, the atmosphere around the place has been buoyant right the way through. There's a buzz around the training ground, the canteen, the dressing room - just like last year.

"We're just working hard every day and competing in every game. We're now about to go into a busy period - a bit like the Championship last year.

"We have great staff here and it's a fantastic place to work. Myself, Brian, Nigel, Luke Anthony, Sal Bibbo - we all work together and we're all heading in the right direction."

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