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Stam aware of 'tough' Hull side

Manager knows of quality in new-look Tigers squad

21 September 2017

Royals' manager Jaap Stam says his squad is wary of the threat that the new-look Hull City side pose ahead of the teams meeting at Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

The Tigers dropped back into the Championship after relegation from the Premier League last season, but the Royals' boss is expecting another tough proposition at Madejski Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

City have had a busy summer in the transfer market themselves, making wholesale changes with 13 new permanent and loan signings, coupled with 14 departures from the KCOM Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Royals' squad has been bolstered with seven new signings and a host of key contract renewals over the summer.

More recently, the return of Jordan Obita and John Swift on Tuesday night following injury absences, and manager Stam is pleased to have more options at his disposal going into the weekend.

He said: "It's always good (having more players), it means we can make our choices and we need to have a look at Hull for the next couple of days in what they do and how they want to play.

"Then of course it's the tactical training and talking with the boys about what we want to do and hopefully getting a good result on Saturday.

"It's going to be a tough game because they still have a very good side, they've sold a lot of players but they're still a very good team and they still have the ambition to go back up as well."

Four separate Royals are vying to line up against their former club at the weekend, with Vito Mannone, Stephen Quinn, Paul McShane and Sone Aluko all having spells with the Tigers.

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The Championship represents a different challenge to the Premier League, though, with most of the teams in the division harbouring promotion ambitions and a fiercely competitive 46-game campaign.

Stam says the Tigers will be well aware of this, but it will be a tightly-contested affair nonetheless.

He added: "For them as well, it's not easy to win all your games, same for us to do well. It's only the beginning of the league, you're still building on something and getting players back into the squad and getting players fit.

"Eventually, hopefully you get into that rhythm of playing games and getting results. Then hopefully we can do well on Saturday against Hull."

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