Liam Moore has lauded the physical condition of his Reading team-mates during their first week back at Hogwood.
Jaap Stam gave 34 players a run out on Saturday, with his sides winning 2-1 and 5-2 respectively against Queens Park Rangers, with Moore believing the team are reaping some benefits of extending the season while the Royals were in the Championship Play-Offs.
While this has led to a shorter period of time off for our first team than at other clubs, Moore says this can be a good thing when it comes to pre-season training.
Speaking to the club website, he said: “It was a short break because we extended our season by a good three weeks, but the lads look fresh. I think it was more of a mental break than anything, the body’s good, the lads are in good condition so we’ve just managed to crack back on really.
“It’s not been the usual painful pre-season where you’re just running mannequin to mannequin, pole to pole, we’re straight back into the balls and everyone is refreshed and good.
“So far it’s been great, first day we were on the balls and second day we were doing 11 v 11, as a player you can’t ask for any more.
“The gaffer has got the understanding of how you need to control yourself, you need to be ready to go straight away, if you’re not then obviously you’re at risk of injuries, and I think the lads have definitely taken that on board over the summer.”
Moore established himself as one of the key members of this Royals side after signing from Leicester City last season, being one of the mainstays of the team that finished in third place in the Championship last term.
Despite the disappointment of losing at Wembley at the end of May, Moore says the players are more determined than ever to go one better this time around and get into the Premier League.
“We’re a very optimistic group,” he added. “We’re pushing for big things. We were (pushing) at the start of last season when nobody really knew what we were about, and it’ll be the same again this season.
“Obviously it’ll be a bit more difficult, teams are going to know us and know the way we play, they’re going to know a bit more indication of what players do and what they’re about, but it’s a good set of lads.
“We’ve never changed our morale, we’ve never changed the way we do things and that’ll continue this season.”
We’ll be beginning our Sky Bet Championship campaign away at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday August 5th, with kick-off at Loftus Road at 3pm on the day.