Reading boss Veljko Paunović is expecting a tough test in a potentially season-defining bout against Barnsley on Friday evening.
With just eight games of the Championship season left, the Royals are up against fellow play-off hopefuls Barnsley who have surged up the table in the past few months.
“Everyone is aware of the situation. It’s been a long break and we have to get back with our fundamentals and get back into combat mode,” said Paunović.
“This Friday will be a hard team in front of us. We are lifting our fitness levels and our focus.
“They’re a tough team, focused on their approach and fitness wise, they are one of the best teams in the league.”
The Royals boss is confident heading into the clash and hoping his side can do the double over Barnsley having beaten them 2-0 earlier in the campaign.
“Earlier in the season we faced them with a different coach and different style but we know what it takes and we know if we are at our best that we will be in a good position to win the game.
“They have a different way of playing that we’ve been following since their coach has taken over and has done a brilliant job.
“We do our homework but we want to focus on what we can do. We know tha talents we have and how to play together.
“It’s very important to regroup and have players back. That will be another strategic key and we must confront these eight games that are finals for us.
“We do our routines that are always important and for every game and every stretch we have, we motivate and prepare differently. Every moment has to be approached with honesty and being true to ourselves.”