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Tiago: "We’re all in the right mindset"

Defender raring to go against Rams

3 August 2018

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Tiago Ilori says the Royals are fighting fit ahead of the EFL season's opening match against Derby County on Friday night.

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All the build-up can now finish, with the first ball of the entire season being kicked in RG2 in front of the loyal Royals in attendance.

Having begun pre-season training before July had even started, Ilori says he and the squad are raring to go.

“We had a long break plus the six weeks of pre-season, so the season couldn’t come any quicker!" He said.

“We had a good pre-season. The break was really important as well, we’re all in the right mindset and physically ready for the season as well.

“These are the games we want. We want as many games as we can on TV, that's what it's about. Playing at home in front of our crowd as well, it feels really important."

Match Previews

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With Frank Lampard taking to the opposing dugout for the very first time as a manager on Friday night - much of the media attention surrounding the match has been directed towards the Rams' boss.

As the focus has been predominantly away from the Royals, Ilori was quick to dismiss the idea that pressure may be off the squad - with the team quietly going about their preparations ahead of the game.

"To be honest I'm not one to really look at the news, we focus on the training ground and we're preparing well for the game, that's all that really matters," the centre-back, 25, continued.

"We've been improving slowly. It's been gradual but that's the way it needs to be in pre-season but we're ready, we're firing and we're more than ready for Friday.

"We get shown little bits about Derby during the week, that's just part of our preparation for the game. That'll happen for every game through the season as well.

"We know they're a confident team, they've got lots of quality in their side. But we've been prepping the way we need to be - and we're ready."

Kick-off against the Rams is at 8pm on Friday night, you won't want to miss this one!

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