Only goal-difference separates Reading and Bolton Wanderers in the table – and Royals gaffer Jaap Stam knows that the game will be a big one in midweek!
“It’s not going to be easy against Bolton – we know what they can bring to the game,” said the Reading boss. “We know their team, and like us, they want to be higher up the table.
“They have quality and ability in their squad, as well as physicality. We need to match that, and then believe in ourselves and what we can bring to the game going forward in creating opportunities and scoring goals.
“We need to find answers to what they have and to trust in ourselves that we can get the result that we need.”
It has been a somewhat disrupted week for the Royals – the spate of snow which hit Berkshire interrupted training at Hogwood, and after training at Madejski Stadium on Friday, our Saturday teatime game against Wolves was cancelled due to the weather that morning…
… but Jaap and the backroom staff are working hard to ensure that the team are best prepared for the challenge ahead.
“You want to work hard – and the groundsmen here are doing their very best to get the pitches as good as they can, and they are!” Jaap continued. “But we’ve done our job and our work, and even on days when we couldn’t get onto the pitch, there are a lot of things you can do to prepare the boys.
“There was a lot of snow on the pitches but with the undersoil heating at Madejski Stadium we could train there on Friday – that gave us a lot of room to work in a different environment.
“We were already in Wolverhampton on Saturday – we’d travelled up, done our preparation for the game and everybody was looking forward to it. Then it got called off on Saturday morning, so we had to travel back and begin preparations for this game against Bolton.
“Now the game against Bolton is very big, and sometimes before a game like that you want to show yourself in another big game! We didn’t get that opportunity in Wolverhampton, but now against Bolton we need to bring it.
“We need to show it on the pitch and to show what our intentions are. It’s a big game for both teams and I expect it’ll be a lively game as well. Hopefully it ends with a good result for us.”