Nine pre-season friendlies played, one to go. And it’s bound to be the toughest challenge of the lot – Europa League holders Chelsea come to RG2 on Sunday.
Frank Lampard, who managed his first fixture against Reading as Derby boss less than 12 months ago, is preparing for his first game on English soil since taking the reins at Chelsea.
Midfielder John Swift knows that a result for Reading is a big ask – but he hopes that the team can come away feeling positive after the game.
“It’ll be good fun to go out against the top team,” Swift said. “They’ll have a load of young players playing as well.
“It’ll be a tough game – and hopefully it won’t be as sunny as it was against Peterborough! But it’s always good to go up against a top opposition like Chelsea.
“You want to get the best out of your last pre-season game. You obviously want to win, but Chelsea are a top team so you want to go into that game and give everything you can.
“And if you can come away against Chelsea with a result then it’ll give you lots more confidence than if you were playing against a lower league team, and you win by a few goals and you go into the game against Sheffield Wednesday thinking you’re going to do the same – and it’s a lot different.
“So if we can walk off the pitch with our heads held high against Chelsea, it’ll give us a lot more confidence going into the Wednesday game.”
Swift is a former Chelsea academy graduate – it will be a case of playing against some of his former colleagues when he pulls on the hooped shirt this weekend.
“It’ll be my first time playing against them!” Swift continued. “A game is a game at the end of the day. I’ve been away from Chelsea for years now so it’ll just be good to come up against the opposition that they have and to see what I can do really, just try and do my best.
“Hopefully the team does really well and we just try and put on a performance for the fans.
“There will be a lot of young players on the pitch that day I guess and hopefully our young players will do better than theirs but it’ll be a good experience for everyone.”
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