We are now coming towards the end of the international break and with only George Puscas, new signing Tomas Esteves and Tom McIntyre away on international duty, you’d think that the Royals would have got some well earned rest after a perfect start to the season. 

Unfortunately for the players, this was not the case.

Paunović spoke to The Reading Chronicle after the 1-0 win against league favourites Watford, and suggested that he would be focusing on his players fitness over the international break; conscious of a very hectic schedule coming up.

He didn’t mention the hard work this would bring.  

The first week of the international break saw the first team undertake gruelling drills, mainly focusing on cardiovascular fitness, as the players were required to run painstaking distances.

This will no doubt aid Reading over the coming months, to prevent injuries while allowing players to recharge quickly for midweek games. 

For some players, this was nothing like anything they had done before in first team football.

The drills were said to have left players written off for the rest of the day. 

The second week of the international break has seen a more technical approach, to the relief of some players, as the Royals prepare to take on Middlesbrough this weekend. 

Nevertheless, training under Paunović is said to be seriously intense every day the team is in.

This is complemented by a growing relationship between the players and coaching staff, as the Chronicle understands that the group is the closest it has been in years. S

cenes on Tuesday showed senior first-team players Meite, Joao and Aluko getting Tomas Esteves to dance (on his first day in training) in the dressing room.

The players were so impressed with him they all started to jump around the dressing room as if Reading had scored a goal! This camaraderie could be the key to success for the Royals this season. 

The Chronicle also understands that Arsenal, Leeds and Wolves are interested in securing Micheal Olise’s signature in time for transfer deadline day on Friday.

It is understood that two of these clubs have had offers in excess of £5 million declined, the Royals see him as a key first team player and are unwilling to part ways with the 18-year-old.

It would take a much greater offer to see him leave.