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"Competition for places has to raise our game"

Royals boss reflects on how big squad has to work in our favour

6 September 2018

Only the eleven men picked to face Preston next weekend can directly affect our form and pick up the points we are looking for on the road. But Paul Clement stressed how important it is that competition for those eleven places helps the team raise its game and turn the fine margins in our favour.

“Including the long-term injured players and the three goalkeepers, we have 30 first team players going into the next four months of the season," he said.

"Hopefully that will create a cauldron of competitiveness within our own dressing room.


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"There are no guarantees for players. With 30 players, there are 19 who aren’t going to be in the starting line-up every week.

"I can only use 14 in total with substitutes on a matchday - so that’s 16 who aren’t even walking onto the pitch on a Saturday. So the squad is big and I hope that is going to create a lot of competition.

"As manager, I need 15 or 16 players who are absolutely at it every single game and who make it hard for me not to involve them.

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"We’ve all got to do better. The reason we are where we are is because we’ve not been good enough. It’s simple.

"The players have to step up. They've got to reflect on their own performances and everybody has got to be doing better if they want to keep their place."

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