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Swift: "We need fans as 12th man"

Midfielder calls on loyal Royals to create thrilling atmosphere on Saturday

12 April 2018

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John Swift says he hopes to see Reading fans recreate the fantastic atmosphere created in our previous two home matches - with three vital points on the line against Sunderland at the weekend.

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Manager Paul Clement has said it will be the most important match of the season so far, something which Swift says was immediately relayed to the squad after Tuesday's match at Craven Cottage.

"He put it across to us right before he said it in his interview!" Swift said. "We all know we've got to win, it's a massive game for us  - obviously a big game for them as well - but for us, getting three points would help us a lot.

"The recent atmosphere has helped us a lot, especially with the QPR game. That was a big one, first game for the manager and we heard the fans from start to finish.

"It helps a lot when you've got 10 minutes left, it gives the boys an extra boost and we'll definitely need it again on Saturday.

"We need that 12th man and we need to push on. We've done well at home for the last two games, we need that again - we need three points badly, no matter how we get it.

"We need a good atmosphere and we need the fans to get behind everyone!"

On a personal level, Swift has been frustrated with the stop-start nature of his season, with injuries limiting his involvement over the campaign.

He is keen to bring his best level to the pitch to help the Royals as much as possible in the run-in, having been involved in the squad for the last five matches.

"I feel good, I feel strong and I've done everything possible to get back fit," Swift added. "I'm still quite off the fitness but I'm taking every session as it comes and trying to get through it all as much as I can.

"I've been frustrated that I've not been playing, I haven't played anywhere near as much as I would have wanted to this season, but it's all down to Saturday now.

"My mind's off getting ready and it's all about the three points."

With Sunderland rooted in the bottom three as it stands, they'll be coming to Madejski Stadium fighting tooth and nail for the three points against the Royals.

Swift is expecting a battle on the turf in RG2 this weekend, adding: "It'll be a really tough game. They've got a really physical team, so we need to get control of the game early, get the ball moving like I know we can.

"They're going to defend well as well, they're not going to want to concede early so it might be a cautious first 10-15 minutes or so, for us we need to get the ball down and create chances."

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