READING FC manager Jose Gomes is targeting nine more wins from their last 17 games ahead of tomorrow’s home clash against Aston Villa (3pm ko).

Relegation-threatened Royals have 24 points from 29 games and remain in the drop zone in 22nd position.

But Gomes feels his players are capable of reaching the 50-point mark by the end of the season – though he guesses 46 points is likely to mean survival.

Gomes was busy working on a number of deals before yesterday’s transfer deadline that saw Leandro Bacuna join Cardiff City for £3m and both Marc McNulty (Hibernian) and David Meyler (Coventry City) go out on loan.

But the Portuguese manager still had time to squeeze in a pre-match press conference when he covered injuries, Villa’s strengthens, the role of supporters, a survival points target and more.

Here is a full transcript from Hogwood Park.

Are they all cup finals from here?

“Not too far away. You have a 46 game league, whereas some in Europe play 28 or 30 games, so we still have a long way to go. We just have to stay focussed and not put the players under extra pressure but to help them improve on the pitch.

“Experienced players can take the extra pressure, but with others it reduced their performance. I must be careful. So at the moment we must focus on what we can control which is the way we play. If we do this properly we will get what we want.”

Millwall face Rotherham in a relegation six-pointer this weekend: “It is out of our control.”

Gomes on his target over the final 17 games of the season:

“If we get another 27 points we will be near to getting out of the positions where we don’t want to be.”

How many points required to guarantee survival?

“I think around 45 or 46 points, though I hope for more. I am more confident now than a few weeks before because the players have shown me they can play like I want them to and they can score against any team.

“We are taking important steps to be stronger as a team and now we have even more solutions (five loan players), so I am more confident.”

Dean Smith’s Villa sit in 10th place with 42 points – four points off the play offs.

Gomes reflected on Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at relegation-rivals Bolton:

“It’s part of the past, we have been working on our mistakes, trying to improve and talking to the players. We cannot let the bad things put us in a worse situation. Life goes on and now we prepare for Aston Villa. We will try and be better and score more goals.

Bracknell News:

Nelson Oliveira opened his Reading account with this penalty at Bolton on Tuesday night. Pic: Jasonpix.

“We were disappointed, but we don’t have time to cry because in football anything can happen. What we must do is be prepared especially in the last 10 minutes of a Championship match that things can quickly change with more direct football and balls into the box. In one moment like that Bolton created a gap for their goal.

“We have been working well even on those frozen grass. We’re in good shape for a better game against Aston Villa.”

He added: “Football is not mathematics, things happen you do not expect, so we must be prepared for anything and keep our focus for the full game. One small lapse can change the result.”

Gomes on his match preparations:

“I work with statistics and data, but we cannot forget emotions and how players are feeling which are much more important than numbers and statistics. If my players are emotional and are prepared to fight, they can turn over the numbers in front of them.”

Gomes on the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Madejski Stadium in August:

“It’s important to watch videos that give us information for the challenge ahead. If we watch the last five Aston Villa matches they didn’t show a regular performance. Their recent games are more relevant for us. They have very good players who are fast in attack and they have midfielders who shoot from outside the box, they are a very dangerous team.

“But I hope we see a very good game between two teams trying to win. I cannot say playing Aston Villa is easier than playing Bolton, it is a different challenge. Villa can play a different game with long balls to the wings but they can also play a passing game of combinations.”

Injury update:

Jon Dadi Bodvarsson could be involved following the birth of his daughter.

“He was expecting a girl, hopefully everything will be okay.”

Nelson Oliveira is a doubt after picking up a knock at Bolton.

“We hope he is okay because he can do good things for the team. He was better yesterday than the day before so hopefully he will be okay on Saturday.”

Sam Baldock setback with thigh problem.

“The medical department cannot say exactly but it will be a long recovery, around two more months.”

Gomes also confirmed goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola (Achilles) will be out for several week, but Paul McShane, John O’Shea and Omar Richards are all training normally and are available for selection.

However, Jordan Obita is set for a third knee operation and will not be back this season, while Saeid Ezatolahi remains sidelined with a long-term problem.

The role of supporters:

“A player cannot use fans as an excuse for a bad performance, the fans just want to support the team and see players fighting for the result. We must play the best we can and bring the fans with us. We must play well and catch the hands of the fans. They will be like one more player helping us.”

“We are working very well, we are definitely on a good track. If we win everything will be better but we have not finished our problem, we still have a long way in front of us. I’m sure my players will do the best they can, but it is not a final game.”