Reading manager Veljko Paunovic believes his side’s meeting with Derby County on Wednesday night will be a big game for the Royals and insisted his players have to match the Rams’ fighting spirit.
The meeting between Derby and Reading on Wednesday sees two sides that are enduring difficulties off the field at the start of the season. Those either have already led to points deductions or could lead to them in the near future.
The Rams have already been handed a 12 point deduction for entering into administration. While they could be left in an even worse position in the table with another deduction remaining a possibility for them for breaching EFL’s profit and sustainability rules.
That is also the case for Reading with the Royals also in danger of being handed a points deduction for breaching the EFL’s profit and sustainability rules over the amount of money in losses they have made in recent seasons.
Despite both club’s issues behind the scenes they have been fighting and picking up points in the Championship so far this term.
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Derby had picked up ten points before their 12 point deduction, while Reading’s win against Middlesbrough on Saturday was their third in a row.
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Speaking to Berkshire Live ahead of the game against Derby, Paunovic insisted that his side need to match the fighting spirit that the Rams are showing at the moment. He also labeled it a big game for his squad to continue their momentum.
He said: “They [Derby] have to fight for their goals so it’s going to be a tough match.
“We always play matches in a manner where we have to match our opponents while we look to put out an attacking performance that can give us a win, so we’ll see how that goes.
“We have a couple of days to prepare but it’s definitely a big game and we are still in the process of getting better.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground and keep our focus only on the next match.”
This is a huge game for both of these two sides. Reading need to continue to put as many points on the board as possible ahead of a potential points deduction.
That is because at the moment they would be dropped right down towards the relegation zone when and if that deduction hits.
The Rams obviously also need points and even more urgently than Reading do considering they have already lost 12 points and could lose even more in the near future.
Derby are therefore having to show a lot of fight and togetherness as a group of players and coaching staff. That is something that they have been doing very well in the last few weeks and they will give everything against Reading to get a result.
Paunovic is therefore right to warn his players that they could well be up against it on Wednesday and they will have to show a lot of fight as well to have a chance of winning the game.