Veljko Paunovic wants Reading to keep the winning feeling when Blackburn visit
Reading manager Veljko Paunovic says recovery will be key to his side’s performance when they face Blackburn at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday evening.
The Royals were in action against Rotherham on Saturday, enjoying a 1-0 victory, and their Serbian boss is acutely aware of the short turnaround between fixtures.
The club currently sit fifth in the Sky Bet Championship, with Blackburn 10 places below, and approach the game with confidence having won 4-2 when the two clubs last met.
“It’s going to be another great game,” the manager said via the club website.
“It will be a fantastic opportunity for us to build our momentum against a great team, like we did earlier this season.
“It’s a big task for our mentality and the culture we are building at the club, we are trying to forge the culture of a mentality where when you have a game to win, you win it.
“You do your homework, you do your job and you execute it – then you move to the next one.
“This is what differentiates teams who have success come the end of the season and those who lament.
“With two home games this week it’s a great opportunity, but one game at a time.
“There are 13 games left, we can’t rush ahead before we are ready.
“The most important thing for us is the execution of a very simplistic plan, recover, replenish, prepare, train and compete, these five things we have to fit into two days.”
Cardiff host Derby on the same evening, with the Bluebirds looking to extend their unbeaten run to 10 successive games.
Wayne Rooney’s Derby have won their four previous home fixtures, but their away form is more chequered with three of their last six away games ending in defeat.
Ninth-placed Middlesbrough travel to the midlands to face Coventry, who are hovering above the relegation zone in 20th place.
Boro manager Neil Warnock is hoping to field Everton loanee Yannick Bolasie, who has been sidelined with an injury after making only two starts since joining the club in January.
Warnock has been frustrated by the absence, saying in a video of the pre-match press conference: “If you had seen him on the training ground on Friday…they told me he wasn’t fit as well!
“I think I am in the wrong game, me,” he said. “They say he has to do longer sprints, longer runs.
“Hopefully he will be available at some stage before next weekend, I hope.”
Elsewhere on Tuesday evening, 12th and 13th-placed sides Millwall and Preston will clash, with Huddersfield and Birmingham both in action also.
Nathan Jones’ Luton will travel to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest, who are looking to extend their three-game unbeaten league run.