José Gomes says Reading's friendly against Sevilla was a valuable experience all round, not least to try and iron out mistakes against high-quality opposition.
Following a goalless first half, Andrija Novakovich latched onto Jordan Holsgrove's deep corner to put the Royals ahead in San Jose de la Rinconada.
But a penalty from Nolito and a late finish from Lara gave the hosts the win on the night, in a valuable exercise for Gomes and his side.
“Against these kinds of teams, we showed the problems that we can have against strong opposition," he said afterwards.
"It was very important for us, because these games showed us we need new players - but of course I’m really enjoying helping the young players to improve.
“I’m still very happy to try to increase the level of the quality, but if we want to achieve higher targetsm we need to make something happen in the next few days, as the league starts in 20 days. I know everyone at the club is doing their maximum to bring the players. So, I expect I can play some of the four games with new players, otherwise it will be difficult to fight for something that everyone wants.
“I’m full of motivation, since my first day I’m really enjoying the club and everybody, but I need more players. It’s a very important and tough challenge and they played very well. There are some things to improve, that’s why we play pre-season games, and not just training, this way we can see the problems and recognise easier. It was a very positive test.”
The Royals were backed in Spain by a clutch of supporters who had made their way out to Spain on short notice, and certainly made themselves heard in a partisan crowd of Sevilla supporters.
Before the match, Gomes and his entire squad went across and showed their appreciation to the two-dozen or so that made the journey to back their club in pre-season.
“Everybody could hear the noise and support they showed," Gomes smiled. "They started showing themselves with a lot of songs during the warm-up, and finished singing when the game finished.
"I think they enjoyed the game, so thank you to them for the support.
“It’s an important step around football, it’s like part of the training for the new season. It’s always amazing how the fans live the club life, and they showed today, even if it was 25-30 of them, that they are ready support us in the new season.
“The idea is that now we finish the week, we have been training every day. On Sunday I will give them a day off, and after that they will prepare for Tuesday - we will play two games and all of them will play 90 minutes."