JOSE Gomes believes Reading can take advantage of the pressure on play-offs chasing Middlesbrough when the two sides clash at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday (3pm), writes Richard Ashton.

Royals all but guaranteed their Skybet Championship safety with Monday's 0-0 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion, and the Portuguese hopes his side can now play with freedom against Boro, who currently sit one place outside the top six on goal difference.

He commented: "I believe we're safe, but mathematically we are not safe. We must respect this fact and try to achieve the point where we are mathematically safe.

"I think it's an advantage for us – maybe we can play a bit better without pressure, but we must not relax.

"We must find the right emotional level for the game – that will be the key for us. We've played for a long time under a very high level of pressure and now that has gone. We must find a balance to use it as an advantage.

"Middlesbrough are really fighting for a play-off position and will give everything they have. We're expecting a very strong opponent."

Reading have pulled clear of the relegation zone following a run of three defeats in 16 matches, and Gomes said it was a true team effort which has left them almost certainly playing Championship football next season.

He revealed: "I'm very proud of what we've achieved. The club, the directors, the players, the technical staff, everybody – it's a club achievement. It's not a personal achievement.

"My mission was to create a good connection between everybody and improve the relationships between all the departments – trying to get everybody working for the same thing like a family."

He continued: "When the new players signed I said they would not be the complete solution – the players who were here had to be part of it.

"Everything that's happened showed I was right – Nelson (Oliveira, signed on loan from Norwich City) gave a lot of good energy and did some very good things.

"He increased the hope of the fans, but unfortunately he was injured when they (Aston Villa) stamped his face, the hamstring (at Ipswich), but suddenly (Yakou) Meite started scoring a lot of goals – he was here at the start.

"We were losing points in the final seconds when we didn't deserve to because of the way we played, but when we made the group smaller, the relationships improved a lot.

"We have had a lot of good people working for the same thing, and everything has allowed us to fulfil this achievement. It is not mine, it's the result of the work of a lot of people."