HRK vows not to underestimate the challenge
Hal Robson-Kanu has vowed that the Reading squad will not underestimate the challenge of the Sky Bet Championship, as they prepare to kick start their season against Ipswich Town this Saturday.
The Welsh international enjoyed a fruitful spell in the Premier League, scoring seven goals in the top flight, but is experienced enough in the second tier to know that the Royals aren’t in for an easy ride.
“Out of the teams who went down last time around, one or two of them were fighting at the bottom half of the table. That says a lot about how tough it is,” said Hal.
“When you’re relegated from the Premier League, from the outside looking in you could think that stepping down will make it easier – but that’s not the case. It’s going to be more competitive, more ferocious – and as a squad we have to be prepared for that and we have to show our quality at the same time, by winning games. It’s to do with the mentality going into the league as a group of players.”
The 23-year-old also believes that a thorough pre-season regime will prove key to his side hitting the ground running.
“The last few weeks have been good, with the new manager having come in at the back end of last season, he’s brought his own ethos in and a lot of players have taken to it. It’s been a very good pre-season.
“We have brought in some exceptional players who are bringing in quality to the squad, that’s what we need. If you look at our squad now not many people who played last season have left and the players coming in have added to it. It’s looking like a strong squad.
“It’s always nice to pick up that confidence with wins in friendlies, but at the end of the day pre-season is about fitness, and the fitness levels of the squad and the group are where we want it to be and where the manager wants it to be. Hopefully going into the first game of the season we’ll start strong and kick on from there.”