Following on from our narrow defeat in the FA Cup, it is straight back onto the turf for Reading, who prepare for Birmingham City this weekend.
Manager Mark Bowen stressed the importance of rest and recovery ahead of Saturday, as we approach the final straight of the 2019-20 Sky Bet Championship campaign. But first, the Royals will make the trip to the Midlands to face the Blues at St Andrew's.
"This weekend’s game against Birmingham away from home to me and all the team is just as important as the game in midweek," Mark insisted. "We just must make sure we recover well, and are both mentally and physically well, and get some points out of the game.
"It’s very easy to go into Saturday’s game, patting yourself on the back and looking over your shoulder and saying 'we’re a good side'. But we must prove it on Saturday. And that’s the hardest thing about this league, you’ve got the physical side of things but it’s the mental stuff, that as an individual and as a team we must be ready to go again and go again."
The weekend game will be the 45th game in all competitions, with another 10 games to go of the league campaign. Trips to Blackburn Rovers, Luton Town, Charlton Athletic, Derby County and this weekend at Birmingham are the remaining away games, with Stoke City, Brentford, Huddersfield Town, Middlesbrough and Swansea City all visiting Madejski Stadium between now and the beginning of May.
"It creates competition for places," Mark replied. "Players are chomping at the bit to get on the field, but that can only be a positive for us.
"But we will lick our wounds from midweek as a club, but the game on Saturday is just as important as the one in midweek. It will also be important to take all the positives from the game against Sheffield United into the game against Birmingham, and turn them into actions."