Veljko Paunovic will be hoping to draw inspiration from Reading’s win over Watford at the Madejski earlier this season as the Royals travel to Vicarage Road on Friday night.

A solitary goal from George Puscas decided the reverse fixture at the start of October.
The manager is hoping to use that game as motivation ahead of the trip to the high-flying Hornets.

“Those kind of games are a big test of the maturity of the team, we passed that on.

“It was a huge performance. Even at that point in the season, we didn’t have some of the players because of injuries. 

“The team were capable of playing that game and getting the result against one of the contenders was a huge statement.

“It is a good reminder for ourselves that we’re capable of doing that. We will use that as motivation ahead of the game on Friday.”

The Royals boss is relishing the pressure that his side are currently under as the season draws to a dramatic conclusion.

“This is the best moment of the season,” said Paunovic.

“We have created this opportunity for ourselves, the matches ahead of us are still exciting.

“The mentality and maturity in the approach has to be good. We have to be ruthless in the opposition box and solid defensively with the warrior spirit and the mentality to protect our goal.

“Opportunities are going to come.

“It would be wonderful (to get a win before any other teams play this weekend).

“I wish exactly that is going to happen. 

“I see the challenge in front of me and I want to go for it, I’m very excited for it.

“For one weekend we can have a very strong impact on the league and on our quest towards securing the play-offs.

“We’re in a unique position in our lives, we have to embrace it. It is exciting and motivating. 

“We deserve to be where we are. 

“With everything that’s going on, how many people we can make happy in our club and community, we have to give our best.”