Testing for first team squadThe Royals' first team squad have been back to the south coast for fitness testing this week, as manager Nigel Adkins and his staff measure the scale of improvement in the players' fitness levels.
The summer VO2 max test was described by many players as 'the hardest thing I've ever done' and now they have been put through their paces once again after seven games in a short space of time.
Manager Nigel Adkins said, "Everything is planned for the international break, we did our fitness tests down at Solent University in pre-season and are doing them again this week to see where everyone is and where the improvement has been.
"And over the break we’ll reflect as a staff on everything: pre-season, the games, injuries, and importantly we can get back on the training ground. We’ve had so many midweek games that it’s just been game-recover-game-recover.
"We want to develop our players so we want to train, and sometimes that’s an issue in the Championship, the amount of coaching time is limited by the number of games. Maybe that is a problem for football in this country."
Meanwhile, the boss explained his passionate touchline displays against Middlesbrough last weekend, saying, "It’s about willing them on.
"Sometimes jumping up and down can panic people but we didn’t always have control of the ball which is what I want. Keeping the ball is the best way to defend. But we had to get over the line, we’ve got a young group and need to keep driving them on, pushing them on, cajoling them, making demands of them and helping them."