ANDRIES Ulderink is confident a Spanish training trip has left relegation-threatened Reading FC in good shape for the ‘battle’ ahead.

Royals capitalised on a break in fixtures by jetting off to Spain last week for five days of warm-weather training and team bonding.

The tour was aimed at escaping the pressures at home after a run of one win in 11 Championship games left Reading four points above the drop zone.

Jaap Stam’s men – beaten 2-1 at Middlesbrough last time out – have also lost three of their last four league matches and now head into a tough run of fixtures against some of the division’s top sides.

Tomorrow night Royals, 18th in the table, face a vital six-pointer at Nottingham Forest, the side immediately above them (7.45pm ko).

Forest could only manage a 0-0 draw at rock-bottom Burton on Saturday and are four points ahead of Reading.

Royals then have back-to-back home games against fourth-placed Derby County and play-off chasing Sheffield United followed by a trip to runaway leaders Wolves.

And assistant manager Ulderink believes the players will feel a massive benefit from the trip to Spain.

"We’ve used our time very well and had some good training sessions," he said.

"We’ve had some team meetings in preparation for the coming games, so it has gone really well.

"We have the players 24 hours a day here and it’s a bit of a different environment for us.

“Everyone knows where we are in the league, so we thought it’d be good to come over here to get a different vibe around the team.”

Royals travelled to Spain last Tuesday before returning on Saturday in preparation for the Forest clash.

Ulderink added: "At the start of the camp, we explained to the lads why we’re here – to prepare for the end of the season and the battle we have in front of us in the last 15 games.

“We’ve used the time really well in talks and tactics for the team.

"We aren’t in the best run, and hopefully one win can change the mood in the team and for the fans. Hopefully that can put us on a good run."

Reading will be without the services of a host of injured players tomorrow night with skipper Paul McShane and John Swift recovering from hamstring injuries.

Recent Aston Villa loan signing Tommy Elphick is also unavailable while Jordan Obita, Joseph Mendes, Callum Harriott and Stephen Quinn are sidelined with long-term injuries.

Forest boss Aitor Karanka will be missing Eric Lichaj, who was shown a straight red card in the stalemate at Burton.