Clement happy with Reading FC progress after Fulham draw
- Jonathan Low
- 15 July 2018, 10:36
Reading manager Paul Clement. Credit: Eddie Greville
Paul Clement declared himself satisfied with the way his Reading FC squad is shaping up after holding Premier League newboys Fulham to a goalless draw.
Royals remain winless this pre-season following defeats at Eastleigh and AFC Wimbledon but turned in a more encouraging display against the Whites.
Despite Fulham having the greater possession, Reading proved a tough team to break down and had several good opportunities to win the game on Saturday afternoon at Aldershot's EBB Stadium.
The manager said: "This was the first game out of the three where the players can see the reward of what's been done on the training ground.
"I said after the second game we looked fatigued and it wasn't surprising because I know what the players did Monday to Friday - double sessions and with the amount of intensity they put in it meant their legs were hanging off at the end of the game.
"It was a different situation in the past week - we pulled the volume of the training back - not intensity.
"The players were fresher and we were able to give them 60 and 75 minutes so I am pleased from that point of view."
Marc McNulty made his first appearance in a Reading shirt. Credit: Eddie Greville
Clement deployed the same side for the first hour of the game, before making a host of changes at the 60 and 75 minute mark with only back-up goalkeepers Anssi Jaakkola and Lewis Ward not getting any game time.
The boss said the game - Royals' third of six this pre-season - had some positive signs moving forward and he maintained the side are on the right path up until the first game of the season against Derby County on Friday, August 3.
"It was a really good work-out," said Clement. "We won't play too many teams in the Championship that can keep the ball as good as Fulham.
"We played a team which relies on creating opportunities through possession of the ball so we didn't have as much of the ball but looking back at clear match-winning chances we had the better ones.
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"There's more than one style to win a game. I was pleased with the discipline of the players and the direction we are going in.
"If we defend and counter as we did then we will win games.
"There are things I want to build on in terms of building offensive chances but I am definitely pleased with the progress."
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