“What happens on Saturday does not decide things – if we win, we are not safe. And if we lose, it does not mean that we cannot get back to a safe position,” explained Royals boss José Gomes ahead of our game against Rotherham United – who sit below us in the table only on goal difference.
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“But we know that we are preparing for our most important game of the season. Even if it doesn’t decide things, it is very important game.
“In a few weeks the fight may be between three or four teams – we can find surprises in every round of games. Some teams that think they are safe now might think differently in a few weeks.
“Our players feel their responsibility and they feel the club’s problems; they know exactly how important this game is.
“We must give everything that we have inside us. We could win, lose or draw – but if you give your maximum, the chance of losing points is reduced.”
The Millers pose a different type of threat – the Reading boss knows that his team will have to meet every challenge posed to them when they face the Millers.
“Rotherham are a strong, physical team – they are strong in the air and can play direct football,” he continued.
“We know already before the game has begun. So we must be prepared for that. And without any excuses, we must get the ball on the ground and play football.
“The players have been training well and showing their strength. Now we need to show in the game the same things that we have been showing in the week – their bravery, their hard work.
“Our focus is totally on the upcoming game – not on anything further. Our next game is the most important and we are putting 100% into it.
“We are deciding who will be the best choice for this game, and we are preparing our ‘Plan B’ too. The end of the game can be a totally different game – the ball is put in the box.
“There can be situations where they win a free-kick in their half and the central defenders go forward to attack. It’s a different game and it demands different things. So we will be prepared for that.”