Manager praises squad fitness
Nigel Adkins was pleased with the workout following a 1-0 win over Exeter City on Tuesday evening.
The Royals kicked off their pre-season campaign against a promising League Two outfit at St James Park – and the manager said after the game that goalscorer Ryan Edwards epitomised the attitude of the current squad.
“It was an excellent workout and good to get the players 45 minutes of football,” he said.
“From a fitness point of view it was very good. Ryan Edwards scored a great goal; that’s the first time I’ve seen of him in a ‘live’ game as he was away on loan in Australia all last season and I thought he had a very good game. He’s come back and his fitness levels have been phenomenal – we want a fit group of players and he epitomises that.”
The Grecians had their chances in the second half, though a Royals XI with an average age of less than 22 held on for the victory.
“We were better in the first half than in the first – but after the break the players have put their bodies on the line and shown a desire to keep the ball out the back of the net. I’m delighted with that. We had Griff and Long up there in forward positions when they normally play as full backs. That’s where we are – people were asked to do a different job in a different position and have shown a great attitude. It was good today as Exeter actually played a formation with three at the back and five in midfield that maybe some teams will do throughout this campaign.”