It hasn’t taken Mark McNulty too long to notch his first goal in Reading colours after joining the club from Coventry.
His 90th-minute equaliser against Beşiktaş earned the Royals a friendly draw – a 2-2 scoreline giving a fair result from a strong performance.
He reflected on that game, as well as the upcoming test against Rubin Kazan.
“It was good to get off the mark early doors!” said McNulty. “It was a good team to play against, and gave us a good test. I though the boys did really well.
“The Beşiktaş game was really tough – I only played the last half-hour but the boys put in a lot of work, but it was tough when I came on. It was a step up. But it is great to be involved in these kinds of games.
“I expect the Rubin Kazan challenge to be similar – there’s a lot of experience in that team and they have played at a very high level.
“We know we’ll be in for a tough game. We know what our jobs are and what we’re capable of, so if we go and do what we can do, it’ll be a good game.”
It is his first prolonged involvement with the Royals since making his switch from Coventry; a chance to learn what the manager is after, but also to go through some of the rites of passage that come with switching clubs…
“Having to stand up on a chair and sing in front of all the boys when you’re just getting to know them can be a bit nervy!” he said, reflecting on his initiation song. “But it’s a good laugh.
“And we did the quiz last night – special mention to Vito Mannone… for cheating! It’s all fun and games and a chance to get away with the boys, and it’s good for the new boys to get to know them a bit more.
“It has been good to get away – the facilities are good and it has been a nice place to play, and a good chance to get to know the boys a bit more.
“You do work over the course of the off-season, but you know that when you come back in you’ll be working hard. If you put in the miles over the pre-season, it’ll stand you in good stead for the rest of the year. It has been hard work, but enjoyable.”