READING FC return to Hogwood Park this morning (Monday) ahead of a gruelling pre-season with boss Paul Clement.

The vast majority of Royals first team squad were due to report in Berkshire to begin their preparations for the new campaign.

However, striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has been excused while his native Iceland remain in the World Cup.

Clement’s first-team squad have enjoyed a hard-earned break since their last fixture against Cardiff City on May 6. Royals’ dismal season went right down to the wire but a point in South Wales and favourable results elsewhere kept Clement’s side in the second-tier.

And speaking after the 1-1 draw, which saw Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds soar to the Premier League, goalkeeper Vito Mannone asserted: “We have six weeks to prepare for what will be a massive season ahead of us.

“There’s lots to take on board.

“The manager has already told us we’re going to have one of the hardest pre-seasons we’ve ever had.”

New signings John O’Shea, Andy Yiadom and David Meyler are all due at Hogwood Park this week.

Clement will have the chance to cast his eye over the new additions while training what he previously described as a more attacking brand of football.

The 47-year-old will also have an eye on the transfer market as Royals continue to pursue fresh blood.

A deal for loanee Tommy Elphick has reportedly stalled over the defender’s wage demands.

Meanwhile, recruitment chief Brian Tevreden is working behind the scenes to bring a new striker to Madejski Stadium and the Dutchman will keep Clement informed on his progress.

Touted candidates include Genoa forward David Milinkovic, who spent last season on loan at Hearts in Scotland.

It means Sam Smith and Yann Kermogant will be the only recognised first-team strikers in the training camp for the time being after Joseph Mendes was told to leave the club.

Clement will be sure to look at rising star Danny Loader however after the 17-year-old impressed for the youth side last season.

He could also give first-team training opportunities to fellow academy forwards Ben House and Conor Davies.

Many supporters were hoping to see Andrija Novakovic involved in Clement’s plans but the USA international has been shipped back out on loan to Holland.