"The players need to be confident in the team and ready to give everything to get a result!"Before boarding the team bus to Brighton this afternoon, Royals boss Jaap Stam took time out to discuss what we know is going to be a difficult game against high-flying promotion-chasers Brighton this weekend.
"We had a good session," he began. "We showed the players clips from Brighton games earlier today as well, so we are well prepared.
"You try to find a way as a manager, as technical straff, to do well against every team and explore their weaknesses if there are any. That’s how every manager is thinking ahead of every game, so we are no different.
"We did well over there in the EFL Cup earlier in the season of course, but this is a different game, with different things at stake for both teams.
"The feeling is good. Everybody is confident...but we also know it’s not going to be easy against a top side with a lot of quality and a good mentality.
"Brighton have been up there at the top of the table for couple of seasons in recent years and they want to go up to the Premier League – they’ve got the facilities, the team, everything to do that.
"But I’m sure we can make it very difficult for them on Saturday, if we have everyone focussed, everyone knowing what is at stake and what they need to do. Both teams want a result, so it’s going to be a very interesting game."
The Royals go into the game at the Amex following a good performance but a disappointing result at Huddersfield earlier in the week and the manager was keen to stress the positives we could take from Tuesday night's trip to West Yorkshire and bring into the visit to Brighton at the weekend.
"I’ve seen the Huddersfield game back again and we played very well. So we weren’t happy not to even get a point; we had five or six good opportunities to score goals, we should have had a penalty but didn’t’ get it – so we can be happy about that.
"They won the game, but if you look back at the 95 minutes and what we created against them, we can be proud of that. We just have to make sure we finish our chances off.
"We had a training session and a team meeting this morning and after the session we spoke about the things we'd discussed on the pitch again, what the feeling is around the squad, what we need to do as a group on Saturday.
"Tonight, we’re at the hotel, everyone’s relaxing and taking their rest. Hopefully they have a good sleep, tomorrow morning we’ll have another team meeting, go through everything we want to do again and, after that, they need to be ready for the game.
"Some players don’t think about the game until we get to the ground, some are thinking about it days in advance – everybody is different, every player has a different mentality and does his own prep. That’s how it needs to be.
"So long as they are confident when they're on the pitch, confident in themselves, confident in the team, and ready to give everything to get a result.
"At this stage of the season, it’s about the team process, getting reusults as a team, staying up there in the top six as a team. And everybody will need to play their part."