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"You want to turn all your hard work in pre-season into a good result!"

Royals boss Paul Clement turns his focus firmly to Friday night's challenge...a club and an opposing manager he knows well!

1 August 2018

Apologies, this video is unvailable.

"I’m looking forward to the game now," Royals manager Paul Clement told iFollow earlier today. "And it’s a good game. We’re playing against a good side and a good club. And of course I’m looking forward to coming up against Frank [Lampard] in his first game.

"But ultimately, it’s about the players to take to the field at 8pm on Friday night and them trying to do their best for their respective sides.

"Both myself and Frank are doing our very best for our respective clubs and we’re both very competitve people. But all the players on both sides are competitive too and, after six weeks of pre-season, we all know this first game is really important.


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"We’ve played Fulham - a newly promoted side to the Premier League, Crystal Palace - an established Premier League side and then Besiktas and Rubin Kazan, who are top division teams in Europe. Really tough games in pre-season.

"So we’re going into this game knowing that we’re well prepared.

"But you want to get off to a good start," he continued. "You want to turn all that hard work you’ve put in on the training ground and in the friendlies into a good performance and hopefully the right result."

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Sam Baldock has been training with his new teammates for two days this week and the manager is hoping he will be match fit enough to include him in his squad for Friday night.

"You can see Sam's quality straight away. He’s not absolutely at full match sharpness at the moment; when you’re involved in a transfer situation which goes over quite a period, there is a lot of physical and mental stress associated with that.

"But he’s been looking good. He’s up to speed in training already and he’ll be involved on Friday.

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"You can see he’s been playing at a higher level, with his movement, with the information he’s giving, with his technical ability – so I’m really pleased to have him here. 

"With the players we've brought in, we’ve got a mix of players here now who have a lot of experience, players who have been captains at their previous clubs, players who been involved in promotion-winning sides. That is invaluable experience for our squad."

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