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💪"There is a long way to go...with nothing guaranteed. But we feel ready for anything"

Royals boss keeping his troops grounded ahead of his only focus...winning the next game!

21 January 2021

Just as victory at home to Coventry on Tuesday night felt very satisfying, Royals boss Veljko Paunovic was quick to remind players and supporters alike that there was a lot of work still to be done if our challenge at the top of the table is to continue.

"We spoke about payback month and the win against Coventry was a good start to it. Now it’s up to us to continue the stretch.

"Preston on Sunday is going to be a very hard game and everyone understands that.

"We have to recover the guys as soon as possible and refocus them on the next game. That has been our approach consistently – the next game is the most important and that one game at a time approach has served us well so far.

"But we are ready for any challenge. We are ready for anything. This is an amazing group - everything you throw at them, they absorb, they learn from and they apply it in the games.

"So I’m very happy working with the family we have here."

Reading gained ground on those around them in the table on Tuesday night but saw other teams near the top of the table pick up wins in the week too. This challenge is not set to let up and won't ever get easier.

"Great job so far. Well done, well earned," Pauno continued. "Every result we have earned – Tuesday night being a great example.

"But I don’t like complacency – I don’t think we are there yet, where we want to be. I still think there is room for improvement.

"However, I see belief in the team, I see that the team have learned how to play in our system, how to stay structured and wait for the moments to strike. And also with the ball, I see a lot of creativity.

"All that is there – but we have to keep polishing it. It’s a never ending process, but I’m really enjoying it."

We are just over half way into this bizarre Championship season and a long trip to Deepdale is next up for the Royals.

"There is a long way to go. We have to keep our feet on the ground, our approach has to be how it has been so far.

"One game at a time.

"We do have goals and a strategy for our long and busy calendar and we break it down into clusters – labelling those clusters with different motivations.

"We are half way – there are now 22 games yet to play. I don’t like looking back at the 24 we have played, I look at the points we still have to earn.

"And we have nothing guaranteed – we still have to earn our ultimate goal, which is to be contenders when we come into the latter stages of the season."

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