Jose Gomes claims he is very proud of what everyone at the club has managed to achieve during his four months at the Madejski Stadium, as Reading prepare for their final away game of the season against Middlesbrough.
Reading took a huge lead towards Championship safety with a 0-0 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion on Easter Monday- with relegation threatened Rotherham United needing to overturn six points and a sizable goal difference with just two games remaining.
Gomes is hoping that his side can capitalise on Saturday with the pressure on Middlesbrough who are vying to finish in the top six of the table to achieve a play-off spot.
“We’ve had a lot of time under very high pressure so we must find the right emotional level for this game to use this as an advantage,” said the Reading manager.
“If we look at the table, Middlesbrough have the best defensive record with Sheffield United, it means defensively they are extremely well organised and physically they are very strong. They play a lot of long balls and crosses and they’re a typical Championship team that fights during the whole game.
“Considering their league position, I’m expecting them to play a bit more open than usual but maybe the manager wants to keep the same defensive organisation and wait for the counter attack or set pieces. They are fighting for the play-off spots so we’re expecting a very strong opponent.
“I feel the atmosphere has been a bit more relaxed but I’m not sure if I’m happy with the different mood because we must keep focus. until the last second we must be serious and professional so I cannot relax.”
Reflecting on his time so far at Reading, Gomes was quick to praise the work of everyone surrounding the club to improve their situation.
“I’m very proud of what we have achieved, the club, the directors, the players, the technical staff because its a club achievement not a personal one.
“My mission was to create a good connection between everybody and improve the relations between the departments and get everyone working for the same thing, like a family, so this is a great achievement.”
Gomes was keen to praise the atmosphere that the fans have created since he joined the club in December, where the fans are preparing to dedicate Reading’s final home game of the season against Birmingham City as ‘Portugal day’ in his honour.
“It really touched me emotionally when I heard about this day, it’s an honour for my name to be connected with my country. I’m so grateful for the way the fans have treated me, I feel at home and I have done from the beginning,” continued Gomes.
“At the same time, it’s more responsibility because if we don’t make a good game it’s not only Reading but also Portugal that have made a bad game!
“The atmosphere game by game has got better and better and the support the fans have been giving to our players is very important to us.”
Looking ahead to next season, the Reading boss was slightly concerned considering the clubs financial restraints but remained positive that the club will find a solution.
“I think my directors have a very tough mission in their hands and in 10 days I will start to work 100% on this preparation.
“The last time I spoke with the owner he is very happy to give the money but we must find the solution because we are under financial fair play and we must respect the rules. I know he really wants to help the club
“If you look to my budget at my previous club we were fighting for the European positions and you can’t believe it would be possible with the budget so I don’t feel out of my comfort zone dealing with this.
“We must find solutions under the budget and that is no problem.”