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💬 "We have to honour the competition, honour our opponents and honour ourselves"

Royals boss on how he will be approaching the final two fixtures of the season...

28 April 2021

A trip to Carrow Road awaits and the Canaries could be crowned champions on Saturday afternoon. For the Royals it is a dead rubber in terms of what can be achieved. But for a competitor like Pauno there is no such thing as a dead rubber and no thought of focus away from trying to win three more poins and spoil the City party.

"It could be an opportunity to learn more about some players for the future," he agreed when asked about the team he might field this weekend. "But the competitor in me says we have to aim to win every game.

"I still want to honour the remaining two games, to honour the league and the competition and to honour our opponents.

"I also want to honour our work and ourselves and I want to honour our fans. I want to keep competing, improve on our record this season.

"This campaign has been severe and with so many games it has been very, very hard. Last weekend against Swansea, we had a few players who played who were playing on the verge of injury or playing with an existant injury that was at risk oif being made worse. The commitmemnt of this group has been's priceless.

"So if somebody has earned that opportunity to play, he will be out there. But we don't reward something for nothing.

"I will prepare the team to compete in these final two games. And we will aim to be competitive. The message that has been there all season has been to fight to the end and to give our best to the very end. And that is what we will do."

The reflection on this season will come after this weekend's trip to Norwich and our final home fixture of 2020-21 against Huddersfield Town the following weekend.

"The most important thing is what we do from now on. It is important to look back and reflect and learn, understand how we can more consistently win more games, how we can benefit from this experience so we don't drop points or make mistakes that we all made at times this season.

"But this bigger reflection will come at the end of the season - when we will allow ourselves to regret a lot of things but also be proud of a lot of things.

"The identity is forged. We have a team which is capable of winning, bouncing back and dealing with adversity. That has all been there this year when perhaps it hasn't been there previously.

"The hardest part is to build a team that believes, who fights for everything and who are all on the same page. Now we need to build on that going forward."

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