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“The first step is to reduce the number of first team players”

Royals boss José Gomes on the difficult decisions made this week in beginning the process of reducing the size of our squad for the benefit of the first team and the Academy pathway…

3 January 2019

José Gomes been working intensely with this squad of players throughout a hectic festive fixture schedule, ever since meeting them for the first time on Christmas Eve.

And with the January transfer window now open, he has had to make some tough decisions to kick-start a process which has to see our squad size scaled down with a view to potentially adding more quality in the weeks ahead.

“The January transfer window. We are working on what we can do with the board of directors. It is normal for a club in the position we are in to think about improving the squad,” he said after our New Year’s Day defeat to Swansea City.

“But definitely the number of players we have in our squad is very, very high. We must reduce the number of players and, after that, try to bring some more players in who can have an immediate impact and help us be strong.

“We take it step by step. Now the step is to reduce the number of players we have. We cannot play like a team, feel the team spirit if we have too many players. Because, sooner or later, the players who are not in the matchday squad don’t feel part of the team any more.

"And we must look at the complete picture too. If you have too many players in your first team, it is difficult to find space for the Under-23s - even if they are good players!

"I like to work with young players. And if they deserve it, I will give them the chance. But first we need to look at the big picture and the first step is to reduce the number of players. I have it clear in my head how to do this.

“We have started the process - before training on Wednesday, I called some players in to speak with them.

“Maybe it will feel a bit unfair for some players, but I am here to win.”

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