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"These players are ready to fight"

Royals boss Paul Clement full of belief ahead of difficult Deepdale test

13 September 2018

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"During difficult times, it’s important to dig in. There are two responses – it’s human nature, going back to prehistoric times, you either fight or you fly away," manager Paul Clement said during his pre-match media commitments ahead of a tricky-looking trip to Preston this weekend.

"You've got to choose which one to do. And I’m sure that these players are going to choose to fight.

"There is a block of six games now after the international break. The first six have not gone well, but there is no reason why this next six can’t go well, assuming that we’re working hard, preparing well and we show positivity and belief.

"There is a lot of belief we’re going to do well. Difficult times, these challenges, have to bring the best out of you."

The return to domestic football comes after a break of two weeks which has allowed the Royals boss to get some good training sessions in with the bulk of his squad.

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"It’s been a good fortnight. We’ve had a good-sized group and we have been able to do some good exercises with and good sessions.

"We had nine sessions during the international break in total, which is a lot. And during those sessions, we had an in-house practice match. So I've seen lots of good things.

"The atmosphere has been positive and that’s how we need to be. There is no point dwelling on the past.

"One thing I am 100% sure of is that if you don’t believe you’re going to get results, you won’t. So we’re full of belief and confidence that we’re going to turn the corner in this next period."

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Visits to Deepdale are never easy however!

"I’ve been there with Chelsea and Derby and now I go there with Reading – obviously we played them here at the end of last season, a really important game that we won, but they’re a decent side

"The've got a lot of movement and pass the ball a lot – they’re a dangerous side. We’re going to have to defend really well. But I also think weve got enough in our team to hurt them.

"And in our last two away games, we’ve done ok. We should have taken all three points at Blackburn and were really disappointed we didn’t. Then we snatched an equaliser at Villa – so actually going away from home we’re confident.

"Even when we’ve been on the back foot, we’ve still been in the game. There hasn’t been one game this season that we couldn’t have drawn or won. The margins are very close. So for that reason I can say that I don’t think the wins are far away."

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