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Bowen and Swift on Preston preparations

A look ahead to taking on the Play-Off chasers

28 December 2019

After a superb win on Boxing Day, the Royals are gearing up to get straight back to action over the festive period, with Preston North End being Reading's next opponents on Sunday.

Alex Neil's side sit in the Play-Off places going into Saturday's match, and will be looking to avenge a late defeat incurred by the Royals at Madejski Stadium back in October, when Matt Miazga's stoppage-time winner gave Reading the points on the day.

The trip to Deepdale will be another stern test for Mark Bowen's men, with the manager and John Swift stressing the importance of keeping up Reading's recent scoring run in the Sky Bet Championship.

Swift said of the Lilywhites: "They're a good team, they're showing that with the position they are in the league. It'll be a big game for us, a hard place to go as always, but if we can perform like we did against QPR, I'm sure we'll come away happy.

"Every game we go into, we want to win, but we don't want to lose it. We show fight and desire to win as many second balls as we can, then we play from there.

"We've got quality to win games, we've shown that. Consistency is massive for us. It'll be another massive game for us, so hopefully we can end this Christmas run with more wins.

"Especially after the 97th minute winner we got from here, they'll be a bit bitter about that. It's always a tough place to go - a long journey and a tough game to play, so we've got to recover right and go into the game like we did against QPR."

Royals boss Bowen added: "This time of year, you don't get a lot of preparation time - it's about quick turnarounds, it's about recovery and it's about that fitness edge as well, that we think we've got.

"We're always counting that Preston played a little bit earlier than us, they have a little bit more recovery time but we'll rest up, recover well and try to go up there and get something out of the game." 

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