Reading playmaker John Swift can’t wait to get into action against Beşiktaş on Tuesday – a chance to put the work on the training ground into action against a top-level opponent.
The Turkish giants boast players of the utmost quality and plenty of international experience; it’ll be a difficult fixture when they meet in Graz.
“Hopefully we can go out against Besiktas and show that we’re learning stuff in training, and get a win!” Swift said.
“Playing against top opposition is what all the players want to do. All of us here want to play against the best players. We can only take experience from it and really push on.
“The games that we have in pre-season are really tough. We’ve got Rubin Kazan afterwards and then Crystal Palace – we can only do our best and take what we get from the games into the start of the season.”
Beyond the fixtures, the pre-season programme is about learning about each other and what boss Paul Clement wants from his team.
And that has been the focal point of the training sessions, with the curtain-raiser coming soon at Madejski Stadium.
“We’ve been working on the manager’s philosophy since we’ve come in,” continued the midfielder. “It’s a good thing to have a certain style of play and for everyone to be on the same page.
“So we’ve been working on that since the first day of training and it’s slowly getting there. All of the boys are really on board with it and hopefully we can keep practicing and take it into Derby.
“This tour is about getting to know the new players and bonding, and getting to work again really. We’ll be putting in the work and getting ready for the start of the season.”