Liam Moore gave his immediate reaction to the Royals' fixture announcement on Thursday morning, with the 2019-20 campaign now mapped out for the year.
Moore and his Reading teammates will start off with an opening-day match against Sheffield Wednesday at Madejski Stadium, to set the season off and running in a packed seven-match schedule in August.
The Owls finished last season in fantastic form, climbing up the table under Steve Bruce and losing just three times in their final 21 matches of the campaign.
The Reading centre-back took time out from his holiday to chat to us on the phone ahead of the fixture announcement, offering his thoughts on the calendar for the upcoming campaign.
“Sheffield Wednesday will be trying to use their momentum from last season, but so will we – especially at home," he said.
"It’ll be all change, they’ll have a different team, with it being their manager’s first transfer window, he’ll be wanting to bring his own players in and his own ideas.
“At the start of the season, it mainly comes down to who has the better pre-season, who’s in good condition, who’s gone through their tactics in a short space of time and putting it all into play as quickly as you can.
“It’s a long season, that’s what the manager’s thought about – he’s shortened pre-season time wise but he’s definitely not cutting any corners. It’ll be very intense - we want to be hitting the ground running in the first game of the season.
“I like having the first game at home, then for me the biggest game is Boxing Day – it’s nice to be at home on Boxing Day so you get most of Christmas Day with the family, then the family can make their way over to the game the following day."
One key date to look out for before the season starts, however, will be Reading's home pre-season friendly against Chelsea on Sunday 28th July - something which Moore says will be a good litmus test for where the Royals stand ahead of the curtain-raiser against the Owls.
“A lot of clubs do it where they go for a big fixture in the last game of pre-season, it’ll be a good test," he elaborated.
"It’ll be a competitive game, the lads will want to test themselves against some of the best players in the world, it’s about giving a good account of ourselves going into the first game of the season.
“When you play teams like that, it’s also a good fitness top-up as they’re going to have large shares of the ball, we’ll have to work hard, it’ll be intense to get it back. We want to show what we can go going the other way, and it should stand us in good stead for the first game of the season."
Now that the calendar is mapped out for the Royals, plans can be set, trips can be arranged and the players can get their heads around the rigours of the season ahead.
With plenty of familiar opposition to face in the new campaign, Moore says the Royals can set their minds fully on facing the Owls on the opening day.
“It’s nice to know, we’ve been in the league for a while now so we know the teams, we know the players and you can start looking forward to your individual battles along the way.
“With Sheffield Wednesday at home in the first game of the season, that’s where everyone’s focus is. It’s nice looking at who you’ve got around certain dates, around Christmas or even on your birthday when you can have the family along and celebrate after.
“But it’s about focussing on the main thing and the most important thing now, which is Sheffield Wednesday. Let’s do everything we can to get three points on the board game by game, in the past I think we’ve been guilty of looking too far ahead.
“The Championship is the hardest league in the world, every team can beat every team so there’s no point picking out certain games we’ll probably win or get a point in – it definitely doesn’t work like that.
“Our mindset is fully on Sheffield Wednesday now, we’re just over five weeks away from it – time to crack on.”