“We have been working towards this. After the tough and good pre-season, what you want is to play. We are ready for it. So everybody is ready – players, technical staff, the fans. We will get it in a few days’ time.” So started José Gomes on the eve of a new season, which begins at 3pm on Saturday against Sheffield Wednesday on home turf.
“We are ready. The players have been working very well and have shown a lot of positive things. Small details need to be improved and I am sure they will improve on Saturday. We have showed good dynamic, good energy and a lot of young players. So we are ready.
“To work with 14 or 15 under-23 players, on one side it leaves you in a position where you don’t feel so comfortable – but on the other side you feel very happy because they want to learn, they want to work and they run a lot. They always show fantastic energy and they have improved a lot and that we can count on them in the future.
“We know what kind of game that Sheffield Wednesday, which players they use and how they want to play. They have the same data about our team.
“It’s a game of football and we have to take the challenge with both hands and try to play the best that we can.”
We are expecting another good crowd in RG2 – hopefully another vibrant atmosphere and most fans going home happy with three points in the bag for the Royals.
“I am sure that our fans will come again – it’s the first game, and we finished the last season very well,” José continued. “This group of players gave what we expected.
"We need – and not just for this game – we need support during the whole season, because it will be a tough season.
“But I know one thing – with the type of support we had last season, we can be even better than we are now. I’m counting on our fans.
“It’s always important to start well – it’s the first step in the right direction. It is 46 games, nobody will be champion after the first round, but it is important and everybody wants to win the first game.”