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"We must travel from Middlesbrough with our target achieved"

José looks ahead to Boro battle on Saturday

25 April 2019

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Until the Royals are mathematically safe in the Championship, there can be no time to rest on our laurels, according to José Gomes.

Reading head to Middlesbrough six points clear of trouble with two matches remaining, with a hefty advantage on goal difference - but one more point would see safety confirmed for another year.

The Royals travel to Teesside to face a team that boasts the joint-best defensive record in the division, and are still heavily in the mix for a place in the top six come season's end.

"We are not in a safe position, we must make the best we can to travel from Middlesbrough with our target achieved," Gomes proclaimed.

"We must play the best we can, we must give the maximum inside us because I really believe in Saturday's game that we'll get in a safe position.

"The experience I have in football tells me it's better to celebrate when we really achieve what we want - in football, anything can happen. Afterwards, we can celebrate.

"Now we have Middlesbrough on Saturday, it'll be a tough game against a team that is fighting for the play-offs. They're a team that is extremely well-organised defensively, they're very strong.

"It means a lot, they're very strong, it will be difficult to find the spaces to their goal. We must protect for their counter-attacks and crosses, they're very strong in doing it.

"I think they may give more space because I suppose they will attack more, they will open their team up more and be more offensive - that's what I am expecting.

"We'll see what happens. We must be ready and prepared for the best Middlesbrough of the season."

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Saturday will also see the longest away trip of the season for the travelling Reading support, with plenty of inflatables likely to be on show at the Riverside this weekend.

The manager offered his gratitude to those who will be making the 500+ mile round trip at the weekend, before being able to play in front of the RG2 faithful one last time this season when Birmingham visit on Sunday 5th May.

"The last game we played away was amazing, more than 2,000 people supporting Reading and they have been amazing, it's the truth.

"When we last played in our stadium, it was a football day. From the ground, you felt the noise and the way they support us. They have been very important for us."

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