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💬 "I want to live this game, learn from this game, win this game"

The Royals boss has his sights set on taking everything he can from every single game, even when they are due to come thick and fast in a hectic run-up to Christmas...

19 November 2020

Nine games in 29 days! And it all starts at Bournemouth this weekend. The two-week international break has been used wisely with this difficult run in mind...

"First we rested the guys with a couple of days off," Royals boss Veljko Paunović in his breakdown of the last two weeks.

"Then they came back in and we split them into two groups - the ones who have played the most minutes who we did recovery, regenerative training with, and those who hadn't had as big a load with whom we took advantage of the break to develop their fitness levels.

"It was intense. And all of this time we were working with those injured players too.

"Then, after the first week we gave another day off before starting to build towards the next game. 

"We had done analysis so we could present the positives and also what we need to improve to the players in a video presentation, using statistics, numbers, establishing what we needed to improve and then how we were going to achieve that improvement.

"After that, we worked on our core group and getting the leaders of the team together on the same page, starting to spread the message throughout the changing room.

"So connecting and realigning the team on the mental side was our priority this week, while protecting and recovering the team was our aim last week.

"And the last three days before the game...we are focusing on our opponent."

And that opponent comes in the form of a high-flying Bournemouth side who were playing Premier League football last season and will be focused on an instant return.

"It's going to be a very hard game, but I'm excited. And I like to embrace these games," Pauno continued. 

"I think that Bournemouth are one of the best teams in the league, definitely a contender for the top six if not the top two spots in the table. So it's not going to be easy.

"But I'm fortunate the I have a group of staff and players who are courageous, brave, who are working so hard - and with all the talent we have in our team, we will be ready. 

"We have to acknowledge that we did a good job at the start of the season. We have to embrace what we have done so far.

"But also we have to know that there are things we have to improve. And the guys understood that very well.

"We had a bad week of results. But every team in the world can have a bad week. And in the games we lost, when you look at our metrics, you will see there was still improvements in our game - our fitness levels, shots on goal, ball possession, pass completion, creation of goal scoring opportunitites.

"When our team evolved in all these aspects, the question was could we sustain a solid defence, was improving in these aspects going to affect our defensive performance. And that's what happened.

"Now we have to get back - we have to find the balance. 

"The mood in the camp is very good. But we also know that we have to get back to what we were doing well at the start of the season and know that it is not going to be easy - especially with such a tough stretch of games ahead of us.

"I want to live every game. We know the calendar is what it is . But I want to take one game at a time, because I want to live this game, learn from this game and I want to win this game.

"So you won't find me saying that I can't wait for this stretch of games to be done, because then the next stretch is coming.

"It's one game at a time and I'm embracing every single game as a final. I love competing, I love matchday, I love the atmosphere - I'm going to love it even more when the fans are back.

"This is my approach. I don't want to rush anything and I want to live every game and have a narrow focus on the next game ahead."

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