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O'Shea looks ahead to Austria challenge

Defender eyes European opposition as good chance to test Royals

10 July 2018

John O'Shea says the packed programme awaiting the Royals in Austria will serve as a good test for the squad.

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With European quality opposition in Turkish giants Beşiktaş and Russian side Rubin Kazan, the defender says the challenge of playing top-level teams will only benefit the squad.

On the challenge set by the games in Austria, O'Shea said: “They’re great quality opposition, they’re a great test for us and I’m sure that all the boys will be looking forward to it.

“I think I played against Beşiktaş a good few years ago now but they’re a top quality team, they’ll be a big test for us.

“Rubin Kazan as well, they’ll have been back in training for a few weeks as well, it’ll be good to have some European games – big teams to be playing against as well.

"They’re teams you want to test yourself against, everyone will be really looking forward to it but to get that quality early on, before the start of the Championship, it’s a good sign for the team and lots to look forward to.

“It’s very important because sometimes it’s a slower tempo, then it explodes very quickly. Concentration is key because we’ll probably be playing in similar temperatures to here at the moment, but it’s generally quite hot in Austria at this time of year.

“Defensively, the unit has to be switched on all over as you know there are players all over the pitch that can hurt you. As a unit, we’ll all have to work well together to get a positive result, but ultimately it’s about getting those fitness levels up and getting ready for the start of the league."

While having good pre-season friendlies is important, O'Shea is aware that the bulk of the Royals' work will be going into earning a good result in their first game of the season - at home to Derby County.

“For the first game, Sky have picked it for the Friday night. We have a few weeks to get everything ready for that, making sure everybody is getting stronger and fitter as the days and weeks go by," he added.

“Hopefully we’ll have a fantastic crowd at the Madejski to cheer us on for the first home game.”


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