With no fixture for the Royals this weekend - following the rescheduling of our trip to Bolton due to Wanderers' ongoing inclusion in the FA Cup - manager José Gomes has had a rare extended period to spend with the players on the training pitch. And he has used every minute available to him.
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"It's important to use this time and we have been doing it in the best possible way. I have been pushing the players a lot, giving them some very hard training sessions.
"But giving them this experience to feel tired and feel their legs heavy during training gives them more chance of feeling happy during the game. They suffer during the week to be happy on the matchday."
And the next matchday takes us to the University of Bolton Stadium for a very important clash against Phil Parkinson's side. "It will be a tough game, we have a tough path ahead of us until the end of the season," Gomes continued.
"After this game, nothing will be decided - the war will go on. But we cannot hide that this is a six-pointer. It is a very, very important game and we know what we must do.
"And we must play the best we can and give the maximum we can give on the pitch to get the points that we need.
"Bolton are a very tough team with very tall, physical players - they don't give space to the opponent players and they try to be strong all over the pitch and achieve success through good defensive organisation. And they are very good at that,
"So we have to be intelligent. We have to start playing - from the first whistle to the last - with our dynamic. We have to put on the pitch our strongest points and our quality. This is the challenge and that is what I'm expecting from our players."
The training session on Friday morning included a few new faces following the loan arrivals of Nelson Oliveira, Emi Martinez and Matt Miazga - but Gomes reiterated that these new loanees are only part of the solution we are trying to find.
"More players, more solutions," he said. "But again, the new players are only part of the solution to fix our problems.
"The solution has to come from the players who started this season because they are the base of the squad.
"My main idea is to work like a family...to put everybody together. And all the players that have arrived, they must be part of this family.
"They must be humble, they must have the fighting spirit - they must bring the best things they can give to the team as football players.
"These players who have just arrived, they will be all those things for sure. So we are happy we can count on them in the tough path we have in front of us."