The pre-season programme is taking on a nice shape; there is a zip about the way the Royals are beginning to play their football. Tonight they take on Rubin Kazan in the second of two pre-season friendlies in Austria; this one takes place in Ilz.
Timing is everything in football – and Liam Moore believes that the Royals’ preparations are well on the way for getting the team back to their peak in time for the season’s kick-off in a fortnight’s time.
“When we got the itinerary for the trip to Austria, the first thing we looked at were the games – and it’s two brilliant fixtures.
“We did really well the other night against Beşiktaş – we performed well and showed ourselves. We need to do that again today against Rubin Kazan.
“It will be a tough game and it’ll offer us different problems. But we’re set now and as we are getting closer to the season, things are starting to click. We’re definitely heading in the right direction.
“This year we have gone against some really good opposition and we’re testing ourselves against some well-know teams. Hopefully that will stand us in good stead for the Championship.
“From moment one we have been tested. The first couple of games were different for many reasons; they came off the back of five or six straight days of training and the gaffer wanted to test us physically and mentally.
“I think we passed that in terms of getting through those without injuries, and we’ll be stronger for those experiences early on.
“We had a testing game against Fulham where we did well, we built more against Beşiktaş, and hopefully tonight we’ll build again. We’ll start to peak now towards the Derby game.
“We’re getting our A-game sorted first, and we had a meeting yesterday to talk about our plan B. That all has to start coming together now.
“It’s all well and good doing well in these friendly games, but it’s all about being ready for the Derby game and moving forward from there.”