Reading manager Veljko Paunovic believes opponents Bournemouth are real contenders for the top six, but insists his ‘warriors’ will give everything for the win.

The Royals are currently leading the Championship, but three successive defeats before the international break has meant that they can fall behind the Cherries with a loss and other results going against the side.

However Paunovic is confident his side are ready to get back to winning ways at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

“They are a fantastic team, definitely contenders for the top six, if not top.

“We all know where they are coming from and we are very familiar with their fantastic team and coaching staff.

“It is everything on their side but we are who we are; we are brave, we are eager, we believe in ourselves and believe in the guy next to you.

“We are going to prepare and we are going to be ready to go there.

“We are warriors and we will go there with our identity and our resources with everything we have to get the points.”

Three key players for Reading; captain Liam Moore and attacking outlets Yakou Meite and Ovie Ejaria, were all injured for the previous two fixtures and were hoped to return in time for the trip to Hampshire, but unfortunately it appears they have not recovered in time.

“We are still battling with that. We are still evaluating on a daily basis. As we get closer to the game it will be a last minute decision.

“I don’t want to give predictions but if we want to wait one more week we will wait one more week, rather than go three months back. “

This weekend will see the introduction of new substitution rule, in which managers can now make five changes during matches rather than the usual three.

This is something the Serbian is in support of, but insists he will not make changes for the sake of it.

“I think that’s very helpful, I’m very grateful for that decision. I think it is going to improve the health of our players, the availability of what we want to have on the field and its going to also improve the spectacle.

“We cannot grant minutes because there are five substitutions, we need to win games and when you understand that you know you have to be very specific with the decisions and with the team management during the game.”