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Interviews

“A few U23s are local lads and Reading fans, that helps give them the extra edge"

Liam Moore on the blend of youth and experience in Reading's squad

25 June 2019

Liam Moore says the presence of youth in the Reading squad for the upcoming season could benefit the side's fortunes - with their 'fearless' mentality going into the new campaign.

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Five Academy players made their senior debuts in 2018-19 (Tom McIntyre, Gabriel Osho, Ryan East, Michael Olise and Teddy Howe), and the young core could be set to play a vital role in the campaign ahead for José Gomes' men.

While Moore stressed that young players have to be gradually blended into the senior setup to ensure they're ready for the jump in quality - as well as raised expectations - he feels ready to help them in any way he can for the season ahead.

“I think we’re going to have a young squad this year, which could work well with their young, fresh mentality," the defender said.

"The young lads want to do well, I feel like it’s important this year that the senior players express how important it is to pick up points early doors.

“I think in the last couple of years, we’ve been guilty of starting late and not getting the points we’ve needed until later on in the season. If we can map out the points we’re going to need at the start of the season, try and achieve our targets month by month, bit by bit, then we can have a successful season and avoid being in the mess we’ve been in for the last couple of years.

“The youth needs to be mixed carefully, but when you’ve got a good core of young lads coming in, wanting to prove themselves and wanting to fight for the badge, you stand yourselves in decent stead already.

“A few of them are local lads and Reading fans, that helps give them the extra edge. It’s going to be really important to put an arm round them when needed, and push them to the levels they’re going to need to get to in the Championship.

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“I believe it’s the hardest league in the world for a reason, the Premier League standard will be higher but, with the amount of games you play, there’s no time for talking.

"In some months and some weeks, there’s hardly any time for training. It’s about finding that balance, with young lads it takes time but it’s about finding what works for you.

“It’s about making sure you’re ready for every game, making sure your mind is ready. If they come through and play the football they’ve played at U23 level, where they’ve been quite successful, then they’ll slide into the first team.

“Hopefully we’ll pick up some results early, that’ll breed confidence and their youthfulness means they’re very open-minded and fearless.

"If we can start well and build their confidence, if the senior lads push them along then there’s no reason that history can’t repeat itself in terms of having a good season with youth – that seems to be the way a lot of clubs are going at the minute.”


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