Reading boss Paul Ince has piled the importance onto the next phase of fixtures, believing the Christmas period will 'determine where we're going.'

Currently sat in the top half and within range of the play-offs, the Royals are still just eight points above relegation with another 23 matches remaining.

Swansea City visit the SCL Stadium on Tuesday, before tough fixtures against Norwich City, West Brom and Queens Park Rangers (with an FA Cup clash against Watford in between).

All three of the league matches are against in-form teams battling around the play-offs.

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Speaking ahead of the Swans clash, Ince said: "Those games will determine the way we are going. That’s not putting pressure, but Norwich is tough, West Brom are starting to win games, QPR are playing, so those next five games will determine where we are going after those. Are we looking up to go up or are we looking down to try and stay up. We will compete and fight. We are miles away from being the team we want to be, but the fact I can choose from 20 players is the first time for six months and that’s a nice feeling.

"It's a tough one [Swansea] because we’re at home. Our home performances have been okay, it’s the reason we are where we are. It’s hard to go on the front foot against Swansea because they like the ball and they like to pop it, but I don’t want to just sit back at home. It’s about getting the balance right of when to press.

"I remember Swansea last year when we were 4-1 down, jesus they’re a good team who play really good football. We know what to expect, they’re very good with some talented players, but it’s the first of many tough games."