READING FC manager Jose Gomes believes the next two or three weeks will be crucial towards the success of the new season after the departures of club captain Paul McShane and winger Callum Harriott were confirmed yesterday (Wednesday), writes Rob Stevens and Courtney Friday.

Royals have been resurgent under Gomes since his arrival at the Madejski Stadium back in December, securing their status in the Championship with just two defeats in the last nine matches.

But, the Portuguese boss has acknowledged the club needs to reduce the wage bill and he has a clear picture about which players need to be moved on.

The first to go yesterday morning was captain McShane, who posted on Instagram: "And that concludes my time with Reading FC. I’d like to thank all the fans for their support over the years.

"My aim when I came here was to get this club back to the Premier League, and I gave everything to achieve that.

"We came so close in 16/17 but it wasn’t to be. It was a true honour to be captain for four years and I’ve learned a lot both on and off the pitch.

"Thank you all for the memories and I wish the club all the success in the future. Much love, Macca."

Harriott later added: "Would like to thank everyone at Reading for the love and support over the years, however this journey has come to an end.

"Had a crazy year of injuries that I have overcome. My team mates are now brothers to me and I wish you all the best."

Gomes explained Reading have until June 30 to make some money before he can chase summer transfer targets.

He told the Chronicle: “For me the picture is clear, the success of next season depends on these next two or three weeks.

“We need to reduce the budget and the number of players we have to get some money and make a good job of the following weeks.

“How we work in the next two or three weeks is key for the new season. It will be difficult and some things aren’t in our hands, but it’s our job.

“We have players that have finished their contract and others that are still under contract, but we must find a way to resolve the problem because they can’t go on with us any more.

“We have others that have finished their loan, but we don’t know if their clubs accept that they can return.

“We have until June 30 to make money with players otherwise we can’t make any contract offers.

“This is the reality and facing it we must now put everything on the table and make decisions.”

Gomes continued: “I will talk with all the players because they deserve respect. They’ve been great professionals and given everything that they have to the club.

“The players are intelligent and know we need to make money to reduce the budget. Even if they’re not happy with the decisions, they will understand because it’s a financial thing.

“I have a clear picture which players we must move on and which we should bring in if we can. Now is a question of starting to do this, but first we must move players and find a space to bring in targets.

“I already know which players I would like to bring in.”

Captain Liam Moore backed his boss for another successful overhaul, adding: “In my opinion, in January we got rid of some players who weren’t strong enough to fight the battle and we signed some players who were.

“We fought, we played for each other. It was a team, not individuals. We dug in and we managed to get the job done in the end.

“There is a much better feeling now compared to last season. We finished on a high so we have to build on that."

He continued: “The recruitment in the summer has to be very similar too in January. That’s in terms of mentality – that’s the main thing because it gets you further than individual ability.

“We need some experience and championship know-how. It’s going to have to be a creative window. We don’t want to be scrapping. I’m coming into my peak years and I want to compete at the top end of the division.”