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Interviews

💬"We will have to match their intensity and quality"

Royals boss Veljko Paunovic looks ahead to this weekend's trip to the Potteries...

4 February 2021

Tyrese Campbell. Steven Fletcher. Jacob Brown. Three goalscorers that earned the Potters a comfortable victory at the Madejski back in November. But, having avenged defeats to Coventry and Bournemouth in recent weeks, the Royals are desperate to set the record straight against Stoke too.

"It has been a very good week of training," Royals boss Veljko Paunovic began. "Everyone understands the hard work we have ahead of us and the tough challenge we are going to face this weekend.

"But at the same time everyone has worked with humility, commitment and precision.

"So...so far, things are going well and we are looking to put in another good performance this weekend against another team who have beaten us in the past.

"That gives the players that extra motivation and we’re going to try to channel that into the performance on Saturday.

"Since that defeat, we have evolved as a team and the players have shown fantastic progression since then.

"So we are focusing on getting the team in good shape to match their intensity and their quality this weekend.

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Our hosts this weekend are a tough nut to crack. Since that win in Berkshire at the start of November, Michael O'Neill's side have won some, drawn some and lost some matches in a topsy-turvy set of winter results - but tellingly there has not been more than one goal in any of the 16 league games they have played since we met them at the Madejski.

"They are a very well-structured team, well disciplined – they know what they need to do and they will try to execute their gameplan. We know we know we will have to be at the very top of our performance levels.

"We are just focusing on our own gameplan, our approach. And our approach, as always, is simply to do our best.

"We set the tone with the expectations and the goals we have moving forward with this game and in the month ahead of us.

"We have some very tough matches coming up, one after another. But most important is this weekend’s match."


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