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"No-one tipped us to be here" | Swift's play-off press conference

Midfielder speaks to the media ahead of a massive game for everyone at Wembley

27 May 2017

Midfielder John Swift scored the first goal of our season, the first goal under Jaap Stam - a goal that earned us the first of 26 wins across the 46-game season. He told today's packed pre-match press conference how he is hoping he can end his maiden campaign as a Royal in similarly victorious style...

John Swift on the pressure of a Play-Off Final...
"Everyone is different. There will be pressure on the players, of course. We've all played in big games before, but this has to be one of the biggest. 

"No-one tipped us to be up there though, the pressure wasn't on us at the start of season. And I don't think people expected us to be at Wembley either at the start of the play-offs. 

"Promotion would be massive. But we've got a huge game in front of us, we can't look too far forward. We all know there are loads of people watching, but the manager has just been preparing us for what is to come. 

"Now we've just got to go out there with a game plan that has been set and, if we do that right, hopefully we'll come off the pitch victorious." 

...on Jaap Stam...
"His experience speaks for itself. But as soon as he walked into the club, the way he was with each player - the way he wanted us to play football. 

"After a bad game or a poor result, we could have changed the way we played, we could have gone more direct. But we chose not to, we chose to stick to how we wanted to do it. 

"And that shows the character of the manager - after one or two bad results, he didn't change anything. We just worked on what we were doing, tried to improve at what we were doing, because we know we're a good team. 

"Everything he says is always with the aim of making the players into better players. Every manager is different, they react in different ways. But he's calm and he is always trying to get the best out of players." 

...on his Wembley and Play-Off history...
"I went to watch Chelsea when they beat Portsmouth in the FA Cup final when I was a player there. And I went to Wembley with Swindon as a player when they got to the Play-Off Final, but unfortunately I wasn't in the squad that day. 

"After that day, I just wanted to get there again. And hopefully this time it will be a good result. 

"The pitch is great, it gets through a lot of games in a short period and it's still a great pitch to play on. It's a huge stadium, it will be there will be a good vibe around the training ground as we all look forward to playing at such a famous stadium. 

...on the fans...
"They've been great all season. The last game against Fulham at home, that really topped it off. They stayed with us even when we were under the kosh for half an hour in the second half. And they'll be even louder on Monday I'm sure. 

...on whether this it Reading's time...
"All the players want to go out there and get the win. But it will be the same with Huddersfield's players. We can't go out there thinking 'this is our time, we deserve it'. Because we know we have to fight for it." 

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