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Bournemouth was a 'positive test' says Swift

1 August 2016

John Swift pleased with first Royals goal on his home debut...

New Royals midfielder John Swift was delighted to get on the scoresheet against Bournemouth in his first start at Madejski Stadium and feels the Royals will take the positive performance into the start of the 2016-17 campaign.

With Reading 1-0 down, thanks to a strike from Lewis Cook, Swift was picked out in the centre by teammate Craig Tanner. As the ball bounced up awkwardly in the middle of the box, the 21-year-old converted the opportunity with an improvised finish, nutmegging Artur Boruc in the Cherries goal.

“I’m glad to get my first start at home and my first goal,” said the midfielder. “Dennis Rakels did really well in front of me, he put the defender off and the ball bounced up. I was going to go for the overhead but didn’t have enough time so I did my best with it and luckily it went through the keepers’ legs!

“The game was a good test for us all,” continued Swift. “I think all the boys felt it in their legs afterwards but it was a good game to finish the preseason on. To start the season after playing a team like Bournemouth who have established themselves in the Premier League and to play the way we did is really positive.”

Swift says he is enjoying playing under manager Jaap Stam and is settling in well at Reading, with the team learning to play a different style of football which he feels will be very effective in the coming season.

Bournemouth was a rigorous test for the Royals, but Swift pointed out there were real improvements from the Reading side as the game progressed.

“I feel I’ve settled in really well so far, as soon as I came in all the boys were really welcoming out in Holland.”

“I got to know everyone because we were around each other all day and got to know the manager too. Everyone’s been great at the training ground as well so it has been a great experience so far and I’m very happy.”

“We got the ball down from the back and played through them really well so hopefully we can take that into the season,” said the 21-year-old. “We work on it every day in training we try to play through the pressing of the opposition.”

“In the first half we struggled a little bit because everyone is new to the system and against such a good team we had to create space for ourselves. In the second half when they tired we kept persisting and got a lot of joy and I think it payed off.

He continued: “If we play like that throughout the season we will get better and better and I think teams will get very frustrated. That will create space for the likes of me and Roy Beerens, George Evans, Ollie Norwood and Danny Williams in the middle.
“I think the forwards will have to be patient because we do play it around the back quite a lot, but that is the game plan in order to create space for the midfielders that is what we have got to do.”

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