Royals boss Veljko Paunovic knows especially after our previous meeting with the Owls, that Saturday’s visit from Darren Moore’s men will be another tough battle, but he hopes the Royals can carry the momentum from back-to-back wins with them into the weekend.
When Wednesday come to town, Reading will be hoping to make it three wins on the trot for the first time since late October, but Pauno knows that a team fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table will always present a tricky test for his side.
He said: “It’ll be another battle, another tough game, when we played against them earlier in the season, we know how hard we had to work, but we’ll figure it out and prepare for this one.
“It’s important to build momentum and two wins with two clean sheets in a row is very helpful.
“We are looking to recover the same performances, clean sheets like we had in the last two games. And then add more opportunities to score goals – from open play and set plays."
As always, the manager credited his players for their commitment to the process, and for being a pleasure to work with as we embark on a busy final two months of the campaign.
He added: “Moving forward, it’s all about the team and that every individual understands his role and always gives his best which has always been the case this season. We just need to keep looking to have that and maintain that spirit until the end as we look to push through the next couple of months successfully.
“We worked through the ‘payback’ month quite successfully. This section of games is about grinding it out, knocking off the games one by one. That is our mindset right now.
“It’s a pleasure working with this group. They are always interested and want to apply everything we give to them. They are intelligent and smart enough to absorb information and apply it.”
“We just focus on ourselves. We are a bit behind of others, so we are on the heels of them. But we are looking in front of us, and what we control is our performances. We win our games, and the rest will take care of itself.”
It was a 1-1 draw marred somewhat by the penalty claims the Royals saw waved away when we travelled to Hillsborough in December, but Pauno realises there’s no benefit to focusing on what’s been and gone as we prepare for our latest challenge at the Madejski.
He concluded: “At this stage of the season we have to have our minds very clear, our focus very sharp and have the eyes on the prize, which is what is in front of us, not what happened in the past.”