Manager ready for WiganNigel Adkins says his players are now ready for the 'big challenge' of the Sky Bet Championship, after the Royals' pre-season campaign was rounded off at Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
A strong Swansea City side ran out 3-1 winners on the day - and Reading now look to a trip to the DW Stadium to face Wigan next weekend.
"It was a good game for us against a really good Swansea side which is important, because next week we play Wigan and they’ll be of the same sort of ilk," said Adkins.
"For a couple of the goals we’ve been done on the counter, but from our point of view what a great goal from Nick Blackman! All our players have had a run out and what we do now is put pre-season to bed and we focus on the real thing, the start of the season. We know it’s going to be a very, vey big challenge for everybody – but one we should look forward to and embrace. Wigan as the home team might be considered the favourites so we can go there and play with no fear."
Again many youngsters were on show for the clash with the Swans, in fact only three of the Royals' bench had a professional appearance to their name - though the manager revealed that Danny Guthrie is edging closer to fitness.
"This is our squad – many of our players were in the 21s last season, they’ve had a run out. The result is immaterial really – now we focus on getting ourselves ready for next week. It’s not easy when you go and lose players like Garath McCleary, Danny Williams, Jem Karacan, Stephen Kelly and Hal Robson-Kanu. We are hoping Danny Guthrie is on the road to recovery - he joined in full training after the game today and will train all this week.
"There's a real good atmosphere around the training ground – they come in early and they leave late. We see a lot of energy with the youngsters because they believe they have a chance, and they do. We need to look after them though as the Championship is a real challenging league. It’s a fine line – we need these players to flourish and to grow but it’s about results too."