John O'Shea is looking forward to ramping up the pre-season schedule, wanting to help instill a winning mentality in the squad with good results in their warm-up games.
The Royals continue their league preparations with a game away at League One side AFC Wimbledon on Saturday lunchtime, with O'Shea likely to be available in a Reading shirt for the first time.
Having joined up with the squad for the first time at the start of the week, the former Republic of Ireland international says he has been welcomed with open arms at Hogwood.
“I’ve had a great welcome from the lads, the staff and the coaches – and I knew it would be," he said. "There are great people working here, I’m looking forward to kicking on and getting the games started.
“The training is good but you want the games to get started as quickly as possible, especially in pre-season.
"It’s strange to be a fan of pre-season but it’s very important – it’s that base to make sure you’re strong during the season.
“If we can pick up as few injuries as possible to people then that’s key. You need to get through the games, get the work done, get the numbers in that the coaches are looking for and make sure we’re hitting targets.
“We need to get into the winning habit as quickly as possible, I’m looking forward to when the games start."
With plenty of work being done on the training pitches at Hogwood, the players are getting themselves towards full match fitness ahead of the start of the season.
O'Shea made the point that, while training is valuable for the players, playing in matches is what puts the work into practice and provides a key part of pre-season.
“When you’re going through double sessions during the week, you really want the games to kick in because that’s when you get your key fitness done," O'Shea added.
"That’s where you see the lads go from strength to strength game by game, it’s good when you have good quality opposition to face as well.
“The key to it is getting through the games, getting the work done. But if we can get into that winning habit quickly, scoring goals, keeping clean sheets, if we do that we know we’ll be making the key steps forward going into the Championship when it starts.
“The main thing is the boys are a good, young, hungry group. I’m here to hopefully help guide them along and keep pushing them, making sure we’re striving for promotion."