“We’re in a good place. The players have been very focussed, this is the first time we’ve had a run of training sessions towards a game so we’ve used that to our benefit."
Paul Clement has enjoyed the gap in fixtures without a midweek game, so he and the Royals can work hard on the training pitch and put his ideas into practice ahead of his side's visit to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
With a hard-fought point against Sunderland now behind Clement's squad, focus has switched to a difficult affair against the Owls at Hillsborough this weekend.
The Royals' manager said: “The weather has been fantastic so it’s been great getting out on the pitch working and preparing, obviously we’ve got big games coming up and I’m very pleased with the preparations so far.
“We’ve had more hours spent on the training ground, rather than recovering. We’ve been able to get out here every day this week, one more session on Friday. We’re going to be ready for Saturday.
“I thought both teams left everything out there on Saturday. On the final whistle I saw players from both teams slumping to the ground, both teams went hammer-and-tong right to the very end to try and get the result.
“We came very close to taking all three points but we can build on some positives from that, move onto the next game and try and get a result.
“We’re not taking anything for granted, that’s for sure. Things can change very quickly, Barnsley have got a game in hand and we’ve got to assume that they’re going to win that, then the gap is only two points (to the bottom three).
“There’s a lot of football to be played, and we’ve got to make sure we’re very focussed."
Similarly to the Royals, Wednesday haven't had the season they had imagined prior to the campaign, having also made the play-offs last term.
With Jos Luhukay's side now in mid-table and almost mathematically guaranteed to be safe, Clement says they will still carry a threat at their ground.
On their reversal of fortune compared to last season, Clement continued: “I’m surprised, but it can happen in football. You can be doing really well in one moment and, in the next moment, you can have a bad run of games and all of a sudden you’re in a totally different part of the season.
“I don’t take anything for granted in this game because things can change very quickly. Your fortunes can change, all it takes is a few bad results and your confidence goes.
“It’s the same the other way, you get some good wins behind you and your confidence is up. Our confidence is up at the moment and we’re looking forward to the next game.
“I expect a hard game because they’ve got good players, especially in the front positions. They’ve got different options – they can play two up front, they can play one through the middle, but we’re going to be ready.
“We expect a very difficult game, but all games are at this level."