READING FC boss Paul Clement has warned his players to be ready for a physical battle at Wigan Athletic tomorrow (3pm ko).

Royals’ 3-2 win at Preston mid-September is their only victory on the road this season.

Clement’s men now face a tough afternoon at DW Stadium on Saturday against a Latics side that has lost its last four Championship games.

And the Reading manager knows his players must be prepared for a tough afternoon against a Wigan defence marshalled by towering centre-backs Dan Burn and Cedric Kipre.

“It’s going to be an even game, but not an easy game,” he stressed. “The fact Wigan are recently promoted makes no difference.

“Wigan are a tough, physical side. I think they do some interesting things tactically and we’re going to have to be strong.

“We’ve got to stand up to the physical side of the game. Their centre backs are six-feet-six and six-feet-five, they put their foot in and they play a proper man’s game.

“We’re going to have to be at it, that’s for sure.

“All I see now is a long run of games almost to the end of the season, but all my concentration is on this next one.

“Hopefully it’s a chance to build some momentum. If you don’t the next game comes quickly.”

Clement gave a full assessment on the health of his squad at yesterday’s press conference at Hogwood Park.

With Jon Dadi Bodvarsson still sidelined, teenage striker Danny Loader has travelled with the team and could be involved at Wigan this Saturday or Leeds United next Tuesday night (7.45 pm).

Clement also confirmed the squad will stay in the north for these next two games in order to cut down on travel.

“We will stay up there,” he added. “If the Leeds game had been Wednesday we would have come back, but it makes sense to stay up this time.

“We’ll be around the Manchester area for a few days then travel across to Leeds on Monday.”

Reading drew 2-2 at home with bottom club Ipswich Town before the two-week international break.

Royals sit 20th in the table with four wins from 17 games, with Paul Cook’s Wigan 16th with six wins to their name.

Clement continued: “We had couple of difficult away games a couple of months ago when we should have beaten Blackburn then grabbed a late point at Villa. This next week is a similar scenario to that, we’ve got to have belief.

“We are not looking beyond Wigan, but we know what’s coming up with a relentless run from now until March and particularly over December and January.

“But the focus is only on Wigan and no further than that.”

Clement has rarely had the luxury of fielding an unchanged team this season due to injuries and the team’s poor form.

But he is confident things could soon improve on that front.

“You know your best XI if the team and individuals are playing well,” he explained. “But we’ve had inconsistent performances as a team, from the first half to the second half and from one game to the next. It’s been the case with the players as well.

“The longer that goes on the more difficult it is to find a settled team.

“But hopefully during this period we will find that solution.”