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José Gomes | The philosophy, the squad, Millwall, Man Utd and the project he believes in...

The Portuguese project begins as Gomes delivers his initial thoughts to the local media after joining the club as Royals boss...

24 December 2018

A matter of hours after signing his contract as he new manager of Reading Football Club, José Gomes met and spoke at length to our local media and began to introduce himself to Royals fans in the process. Here are some of the boss' key messages ahead of his first game in charge at Millwall on Boxing Day...

On his appointment being an exciting moment in his career...

"All the coaches in the world, they dream to work in English football, so I am completely excited by this project. And I believe in this project.

"Mr Dai believes in me a lot and he went to great effort to bring me to Reading.

"It's a fantastic project. Mr Dai explained to me the amount of money he has been investing in the club...and now we need to give results to put Reading in the right place. That is the idea.

On the initial challenge being to move away from danger at the foot of the table...

"All of you watched the match against Middlesbrough. They were in sixth and moved into fourth I think - and yet our players deserved to win the match in my opinion. So we have something to grab onto and shift towards our goals.

On his football philosophy...

"I love football. Ever since we are born and when we start playing football as kids, if you ask to your friends to come and play football, the main idea is to score goals.

"And to score goals we must pass the ball to each other. That’s what I like, to pass the ball to each other and control the game with the ball with the intention of somehow obligating the opponent to move in trying to recover the ball and then creating space to use to our advantage with the fast players, the strikers.

"Basically I like creating with the ball. And from everything I watch of our players, we have players with enough technical ability to play and follow my ideas. I have no doubt about that."

On working with the current squad and his main aim with January on the horizon...

"It's normal at this time, with the January transfer window arriving, everyone is talking about which players do we want to bring in?

"But right now we must give stability to our players. Give them confidence, because we are in a position we don’t want to be in.

"So we must help our players to be stronger on the pitch and, most importantly, make sure they really believe they can do it.

"If you don’t believe, you lose the hope. If you lose the hope you lose everything. So we need to give them confidence - and I am sure they will like my ideas and my football philosophy.

"I think the first step is…sit and look at what we have here. Looking properly at the quality players we have in our Under-23s too. This is the first step. I have just arrived, so I am not beyond the first step.

"So right now me and my staff have to look at this squad to find the problems and try to ask for the solutions.

"We must look at the complete picture. If you have too many players in your first team, it is difficult to find space for the Under-23s - even if they are good players.

"I like to work with young players. And if they deserve it, I will give them the chance. But first we need to look at the big picture, put things in the right place and make some decisions.

"My focus is to look at the players I have in my hand and try to help them become better players ion the future."

On the unique challenge that is The Championship...

"The Championship is different from all the leagues in the world.

"Before the season started, 20 clubs say that their goal is to go to the Premier League. You cannot find this in any other league in the world. It’s amazing, fantastic.

"The level of competition…everybody wants to win all the games. And I know the staff at Wolves very well and we followed their progress last season. So I know exactly what kind of league we are talking about, what kind of football we can find here.

"You can have the Middlesbrough football, which is the kind of philosophy that has direct football, crosses into the area, tall players, always aerial challenges. And then we can find other teams playing a different kind of football with the ball always on the ground playing a passing game.

"What we know is that it is a very, very competitive league and we must be ready for  different kind of challenge in every single match."

On the first of those matches - at Millwall on Boxing Day...

"Now, in this moment, I have all my staff studying the pictures and when I have finished talking with you, I will sit with them to study all the small details about Millwall.

"It will be a very important match for us. We have the same number of points, with just the goal difference separating us - and we must be ready to look to beat them in the next match. We know it will be difficult though.

"Then if you look at the schedule, we’re playing a game every three days around this time of year. It’s not easy to recover.

"It’s recover and play, recover and play. So you have no time to make strong training sessions - so you have to carefully create practice sessions and, at the same time that they are recovering, they have to understand what I want. But we as coachign staff are ready for this challenge." 

On the prospect of taking on Manchester United at Old Trafford next month... 

"When I looked to the fixture schedule, I thought I could play against a Portuguese coach...but he left.

"But we are talking about one of the best clubs in the world with great players - it will be very fifficult for us.

"However, it is usual that we have a different spirit in cup games. And anything can happen."

On his first impressions of Reading Football Club...

"Everybody at the club has been very friendly to me, trying to show me what is happening in the club, introducing me to people who work here on a daily basis. And I feel that everybody wants to help.

"And also I felt the passion from the stands on Saturday. You could feel it in the stands, the fans see a chance and everybody shouts or they are happy when we do something good, when we creates some beautiful action."

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