Reading captain Liam Moore has nothing but praise for new Serbian manager Veljko Paunovic, but he is not prepared to get carried away yet.

The Loughborough-born defender has been a key member of the team in RG2 since he joined under Jaap Stam in 2016 but other than his debut season, in which the team finished third and were beaten play-off finalists, the Reading teams have been flirting with relegation.

This poor period in the clubs recent history has seen the skipper play under five different managers in his four year stint, something the centre-half is not proud of.

Speaking to the press ahead of a crunch game against Watford, with the club sat in the automatic promotion spaces, he said:

“Usually a manager loses his job because the team aren’t doing the right thing on the field, and that will always be a reflection on the players but we can’t look back we need to try and look forward and hopefully this manager will be here to stay.”

Since Mark Bowen’s departure just two weeks before the start of the season, fans and pundits alike had written the side off for yet another season struggling near the foot of the table.

However if the start is anything to go by, Royals fans can be in for an exciting time under the former Chicago Fire boss.

Moore explained that despite only being around the players for little over a month, he has already commanded total respect.

“Collectively as a team the boys have responded very well and personally there’s a great level of faith that he has shown in me and there’s a large amount of respect from myself to him.

“He had a great playing career, just how he is as a man helps first and foremost, then as a manager very good man manager.

“He’s got a real winning mentality, fighting mentality, which he has passed onto us and it is now demands which we demand from each other as well on the pitch, on the training pitch too, and it is standing us in good stead.

“He will pull players on an individual basis and will talk them through certain aspects of their game where they want them to improve, what he expects from them and that leaves everyone sure on where we are heading.”

Unfortunately not even a month into the season the team have picked up some serious long term injuries, namely to midfield maestro John Swift and athletic full-back Andy Yiadom, but Moore insists that a small squad will not hinder the sides progress under Paunovic, however he certainly expects some incomings before the end of the transfer window.

“You can go through seasons where you can keep all of your key members fit.

“A lot of successful teams do play with a small squad, a core of 14/15 players, but at the minute we’ve been unlucky with injuries.

“I imagine the manager will be hopeful for some reinforcements just to boost the squad size.”

These injuries are potentially opening routes into the team for young academy graduates, especially Iocal lads Tom McIntyre and Tom Holmes, both of which have been in and around the team for the last season.

Despite all fighting for the same space, the former Leicster City defender was bursting with pride when protégé McIntyre stepped out onto the pitch.

“I have a really strong relationship with Tom McIntyre, I see a lot of myself in him, but we try and work together, they ask questions and they’re good guys.

“Last season McIntyre came in for me for a time and I was probably the happiest person to see him on the pitch.

“We stick together, we work on things and we know what each other is going through.”

As with the dawn of every new football season, the fans always want and hope for promotion back to the promised land which has alluded the club since relegation in 2013, but what is the exception amongst the players?

“Progress- statistically finishing higher than we have done.

“It’s about getting to ten games to start with, evaluating how we have done.

“Mid-season evaluate again and then try to kick on.

“As people involved in the club we have to try and stay on a level playing field and just continue to try and kick on and get points on the board.

“There has not been one word spoken about where we want to finish.

“Everyone wants to finish as high as we possibly can, which is number one, but we know it is such a long season.

“We know there is much to be improved upon and so much of the journey left.”

If the side can continue the start they have made the journey is only going one way, and that is up.