Berkshire news Paunovic on Watford, Richards' fitness, transfer embargo, Joao and play off race PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - All of the key quotes from Reading manager Veljko Paunovic's press conference ahead of his side's Championship clash with Watford at Vicarage Road on Friday night
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Reading manager Veljko Paunovic spoke to the assembled media on Wednesday lunchtime for his pre-match press conference ahead of his side's game with Watford. Royals' boss provided an update on the injured players, the play-off race and the challenge posed by the Hornets on Friday night. Here are all the key quotes from the conference. Updates on Richards, Swift and Morrison Richards got a knock on his foot against Derby but he is basically fine. He trained today and will be available for Friday. Swift is in the final stage of building his match form. We'll decide in the next couple of days if he's going to be involved but he is progressing very well. Morrison is out for the rest of the regular season but he will be fit for the play-offs. Facing three of the top four in the coming weeks We can't ask for a better situation. This is the best moment of the season. We created this great opportunity for ourselves. The games ahead of us are very exciting. Playing against three sides at the top of the table defines the moment and importance of the upcoming games. Most importantly, it's the final stage of our quest to secure the play-offs and then fight for more. Qualities needed from the players Mentality and maturity is key - every game will be defined in one of the two boxes. In between, there is a game to play and manage, but we have to be ruthless and solid defensively with a warrior spirit and a mentality to protect our goal. Read More Related Articles Reading FC handed boost in Championship play off race after shock Brentford result Read More Related Articles Reading FC dealt major injury blow to key defender for play off run in We have to protect what we have earned so far so we have to be solid, composed and not too allow too many opportunities. Five teams fighting for four play-off places It's not defined, there are still more contenders like Cardiff and Middlesbrough who are still fighting. Cardiff didn't get the result they wanted (losing 5-0 at Sheffield Wednesday) but it's one game. They will look at it as one slip and will keep fighting. That's how we will look at it and as long as you have an opportunity, you have to fight for it. I would not define yet the four spots are for five teams. Making a statement at Watford We are determined and always go into our games with a plan and look to execute it. The mentality has always been there in our team, we always give our best and it's very hard to beat our team. Josh Laurent during the win over Derby (Image: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images) We are capable of beating others. We know we haven't always delivered the best possible results but we definitely know we are a tough team to play, one that scores a lot of goals and sometimes we make mistakes but this is where we want to see maturity. When mistakes happen, we must make sure the reaction is positive and we recover from them quickly. We want to get a result at Watford and the feeling we are progressing as a team. Transfer embargo latest This is what I have been hearing from the first day I came here. The only thing I have done since then is to focus on improving what was done in the past for the club and team. And give the club a perspective - and that now is that the team is in the play-offs, the team depends on itself and we have created a lot of value in our players in terms of the development of the young players, the confirmation of others who in the past were identified as valuable players and that's all I can say. Read More Related Articles Kevin Phillips states verdict on Michael Olise's Reading FC celebration and makes play off claim Read More Related Articles Reading FC one of 10 Championship clubs 'placed under transfer embargo' We need to focus on what is important and what can help us immediately. The situation is the embargo is that it's been there for a long time and didn't help at all but it's not something we want to talk or think about. We cannot solve it at this point and when the club is ready to issue an official statement we'll talk about it but right now we have to focus on winning our games. Confidence going into Watford after Derby win Emotions are a big part of trying to get the right results and building the right momentum and that is what we needed. We need a good, solid win. We recovered the confidence of players who needed it. We worked very well in defence and there were talented performances by Michael Olise and Ovie Ejaria, our two solid guys Andy Rinomhota and Josh Laurent were fantastic, George Puscas scored, Lucas Joao came off the bench and scored. All these things sum up and bring back the belief and conviction we are on the right path at the right moment to pick up in the final six games. Beating Watford 1-0 in reverse fixture sending out a statement of intent Those games are a big test for the maturity and conviction of the team, and we passed that. It was a huge performance and even then we had injuries, so to get a result against one of the contenders for direct promotion was a huge statement. Reading celebrate Lucas Joao's goal on Monday It's a good reminder for ourselves we are capable of doing that and we'll use it to motivate our guys for Friday.
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. We need guys to understand their roles and we need guys like Lucas to press the restart button to take the pressure off his shoulders as he's been carrying out attack all season and we had to rely on him in almost every single game. That bit of rest helped him and the team, and others to step up. Everything is about the team. Putting pressure on rivals with a result at Watford It would be wonderful. I see that challenge in front of me and I want to go for it. I'm very excited about it but I want to keep our feet on the ground. At least for one weekend, we can have a strong impact on the rest of the league and quest towards securing the play-offs. Importance of final six games in club's history One thing is acknowledging the situation - the moment we are in and the opportunity we have - that has to be said and explaining what that means will help on the other side in channelling out motivation towards our goal. We did a good job in explaining what this means to everyone - it's a unique moment in our lives and we have to embrace it.
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We have to be happy about it - it's exciting, motivating and we deserve to be here and have this opportunity in our hands. It's something positive and with what's going on with Covid, [we must think about] how many people can we make happy in our environment, starting with families, our community, our club, our co-workers and teammates. This is about giving your best and loving what you do and leaving everything out there. Holmes and McIntyre helping highlight what play-offs would mean to the club They are children of Reading FC so they know the identity and they carry the momentum that we are in properly. They reflect confidence, they reflect conviction, they reflect connection with the club, community and our fans, and they reflect the connection with our academy and the holistic picture which the club had in the past, has now and will have for the future. That's great but there are many more, some will come sooner, some later and others who have been around the club for a long enough time to keep the club in their hearts no matter where they are or where they will be in the future. Extra motivation to finish strongly after past few seasons of struggle It's an extra motivation. Everything that happens at this moment to the club on the pitch is the best moment you could have chosen to be with Reading. Why not embrace it? Why not go for it? It's exciting. Araruna injury update He is back in training. When we thought he needed surgery, there was one more treatment we opted to go for and it worked very well.
That was a month ago but now he is involved in full-contact training and now it looks promising. We hope there are no setbacks. He's in the final stage so we have to be cautious because he's been out for a long period but he could be involved before we get to the play-offs. Contract talks with McIntyre and Morrison The last update I had is that the club made an offer to McIntyre - talks are ongoing - so that's the stage we are at this point. It's still ongoing - it's not anything closed but I have faith he will be with us for a long time. Morrison - just because of the confidentiality of his contract I cannot share details but I am very positive Michael will be with us also next year. Squad morale I see a fantastic group with a fantastic spirit. We have built very good energy and identity in and around the team. I just hope it now lights up and it's the moment to put everything together. We have a great game in front of us which should motivate us to do that. It can be a catalyst not only for securing the play-offs but for moving forward too. The mood is very positive. The intensity and the way they compete in training, you can't ask for more. The team is ready, everyone understands that.
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Watford vs Reading FC: Join us on Friday Reading return to Championship action on Friday evening when they travel to Watford in the Championship. Kick-off at Vicarage Road is 7.45pm on April 9. Join us for full coverage of the game throughout the evening with all of the build-up starting in our live blog from 5pm.
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