Royals assistant happy for a blank SaturdayA blank Saturday in February – they don’t come around too often.
But Andries Ulderink is pleased for the break and a chance for the Royals to get a bit of energy back in their legs!
Our assistant manager admitted that back to back home games against Barnsley and Brentford have been energy-sapping for the Royals, so a chance to recover is welcomed.
Yet even though Huddersfield Town host Manchester City this weekend in their FA Cup fixture, he isn’t expecting them to have squandered all the energy in the tank by the time they host Reading.
“To be fair, the last two games cost a lot of energy,” admitted Ulderink. “You saw that in the last 10 minutes of the game against Brentford that they were really tired, so a couple of extra days will help us to get fit and recovered again and to be ready for two interesting games.
“We’re in a normal rhythm – we’ll train on Saturday and Sunday we’ll be off. We’ll train on Monday and then travel to the north.
“Huddersfield are a very fit team and in the last three or four games they have rotated a little bit with their squad. I don’t think the physical part will be an issue for them.
“It’s great to see that even right at the end of games when players are really tired, the players still have that fighting spirit.
“But when I look at the squad, everyone looks fresh again after a day off.”
There are certainly parallels between Reading and Huddersfield in the 2016/17 campaign.
Neither were truly threatening the upper echelons of the table last season – but this year both sides have played some easy-on-the-eye football to occupy the top two play-off positions ahead of Tuesday's encounter.
“When you see Huddersfield, they are good to watch,” Ulderink continued. “They play with a lot of energy and they have some creativity in that team, so it will be a very interesting game for us and for them.
“Both teams were halfway down the table last season, and now we’re third and fourth. I think it’s a big compliment to both teams to be in the top six at this stage in the season.”