Reading could be boosted by the imminent return of some key players, ahead of a tough set of fixtures in the promotion race. Speaking to the press today ahead of Tuesday night's match away to Huddersfield Town, Andries Ulderink seemed positive about the prospects of a few first team stars.
The Dutchman said that Paul McShane and Joey Van den Berg could be fit for the trip to the John Smith's Stadium.
Meanwhile, long-term injury sufferer Stephen Quinn is also close to a return, and John Swift will be involved after shaking off a minor problem.
Ulderink confirms John Swift has a 'small fracture' on his toe, hence the moon boot. He should be back ready for Tuesday. #readingfc ⚽— BBC Berkshire (@BBCBerkshire) February 17, 2017
"More depth in the squad means we can make changes in the team and get wins."
However, winger Callum Harriott is some way off from being involved with the first team, having damaged his hamstring in the fog-swamped Fulham match in December.
Big boosts for a tough spell in our season
Reading are now going into what is probably the defining spell in our season. Here's how the fixture list will play out over the coming weeks:
- Huddersfield Town, away.
- Brighton, away.
- Wolves, home.
- Newcastle United, home.
- Preston, away.
- Sheffield Wednesday, away.
- Leeds United, home.
That means the Royals will face every other team currently in the top six up until April 1, with most of those games away from the comforts of the Madejski Stadium. With that in mind, getting the most out of the squad's size and experience is vital.
Those set to imminently return to first team contention - Paul McShane (31), Stephen Quinn (30) and Joey Van den Berg (31) are some of the squad's most experienced players.
Between them, they boast 714 league appearances - 309 for Quinn, 274 for McShane and 131 for Van den Berg.
Squeezing points out of the next seven games will be very tough, and could define whether Reading finish in the top two, Playoffs or lower. Getting those three veterans back into action could be key to getting the Royals over the line.