Defender looks forward to season openerRoyals defender Chris Gunter is in a positive mood ahead of the team's opening day trip to Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship.
The Welsh international played a major part in Reading’s impressive FA Cup run last season, and feels that after a number of new arrivals and a good pre-season the squad is prepared for a successful 2015/16 in the league, starting on Saturday.
“I think there are aspirations to do really well this season and over the pre-season there have been good performances,” said Gunter. “Come Saturday we will be ready to go when the real stuff starts.
“Going to Thailand for nine days with the majority of the new signings and staff there was a great chance for us to gel as a group. The new lads have been brilliant and we are all feeling really good after a strong pre-season, and now we just want the real stuff to start.”
The right-back felt that the competitive clash against La Liga side Espanyol last weekend has set the Royals in good stead for the upcoming game against Birmingham, and the season as a whole. And Gunter knows that hard work and dedication will play a pivotal part in making the 2015/16 campaign a successful one.
“It wasn’t a particularly 'friendly' friendly match, and it kicked off a bit in the second half which does sometimes happen when you’ve got two groups of men that are quite competitive,” he explained. “But that’s going to be the same every week in the Championship and we know it’s going to be a massive battle, so we need to make sure we stick together as a group if we have a chance of doing well.
“I think the challenge in the Championship is to take it week by week. The games come Saturday or Sunday and then midweek, so it’s all about managing those games and making sure we’re competitive in every one of them. We’ve got a strong squad and I’m confident we can have a really good season.
“Personally the aim for me is to work hard and get into the starting XI for the weekend and then to stay there. I always want to contribute to the team and the football club as much as possible and hopefully I can help them have a really good season.
“I think with the bunch of players, the manager and the staff that we’ve got, if you pay your money and come to the Madejski you’ll see a team that really care and want to do well. We can’t promise we’re going to win every single game – obviously we’ll try, but as long as we approach matches in the mind-set that we will give everything we can, you’ll normally find that’s what football fans want. So we can promise that come Saturday we will be right at it.”