Coach discusses the team’s time in the NetherlandsAs the pre-season trip to the Netherlands winds to a close, Reading first-team coach Said Bakkati discussed the importance that the camp in Oosterbeek has had for the squad.
The time away from their usual surroundings has allowed players and staff to integrate more closely… Bakkati, who joined the club at the same time as Jaap Stam last month, has also benefitted from spending time in close proximity with the rest of the Royals.
“The guys are working hard and they’re enjoying it,” Bakkati said. “Next year is an important one for everybody. We have to work hard to make new steps for the club.
“The players have been playing games and getting to know each other better personally. They talk about their families, their children, how they are… that is important for a group. It is important to know how each other lives and to learn more about each other.
“I also know the players well now! I know their qualities and the way they work. They also have to work before and after training to be a better player, and that will help us win games in the Championship.
“Sometimes we talk as a group, and sometimes as coaches we talk individually with a guy about what the gaffer wants to see – how the players move, which spaces they move into. It is important to make contact with the boys so they can learn what they must do.”
Friday night’s game against Al-Taawoun will mark the final action from their week-long stay in Holland – then it’s an early departure back to the UK on Saturday morning.
It will be the second fixture of the pre-season calendar after last weekend’s visit to Boreham Wood – and Said believes that the game against the Saudi side will offer the team a chance to show what they can do.
“The game is also going to be important for the conditioning and for the way we want to play,” he continued.
“It allows players to show themselves to the gaffer – they must be sharp and show that if they want to make that step into the 11.”