John Swift grabbed an eye-catching goal and a nice assist as the Royals ran out 4-2 winners against Peterborough at Madejski Stadium – a good work-out in the summer sun.
In temperatures in excess of 30°C, the Royals performed well and scored some fine goals against a strong League One opponent – all good prep for the challenge ahead.
“It’s good to get the win, to get a couple of goals and to really get our confidence up for when we do start the season,” Swift said.
“It’s always good to score and always good to help the team to a win, so I enjoyed it. It was a good game for us all to play in and get our fitness up. Every time we play we want to win, so it was nice to come off the pitch with a victory.
“When I get in the chance to shoot, sometimes I don’t take it and sometimes I do. I had a chance in the first half where I should have shot – the manager said to me at half-time that I need to start shooting.
“Even during training he’s been encouraging me to shoot more. I finally got the chance at the edge of the box, I got a load of space – and I’m just glad it went in.
“It was tough – in the last 20 minutes as we were winning by two goals, it was quite easy for us to sit of and just collect our legs and really put in the work to not concede another goal.
“The heat takes it out of you, and what the team have to do best is defend when we’re under pressure. So it was tough but I think we did really well.”
It’s almost the end of the pre-season schedule – just one game remains.
The bulk of the squad which travelled to Spain for the training camp were Academy products – at 24, Swift was one of the more senior in the party, and he is enjoying linking up with our talented prospects.
“We’ve had a good pre-season, we’ve had some good results, and we’ve had a good positive trip away,” he continued.
“The younger players coming in are showing their confidence in training and in games. Again, we’re just concentrating more on Sheffield Wednesday and the closer it comes the better it is as we just want to get there and secure the three points.
“I think its massive to give young players a chance. You never know what can happen and it looks like the manager is happy to give the young players a good go at it. And why not? They’re showing what they can do in training and did so during the pre-season tour.
“It’ll be good for them to come out again and older players, including me, will be supporting them and trying to improve them and hoping they can bring to the team whatever was missing last season.”