‘Maybe our hardest game of the season’ - Reading boss Clement on basement battle

Reading manager Paul Clement sees the clash with Ipswich as the hardest of his side's season. Pictur

Reading manager Paul Clement sees the clash with Ipswich as the hardest of his side's season. Picture: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Reading boss Paul Clement is expecting tomorrow’s bottom-of-the-table clash with Ipswich Town to be the ‘hardest game of the season’.

The Royals sit 22nd, five points clear of Ipswich, heading into a vital game for both clubs in their battle to beat the drop.

“For me this is a complicated game, a difficult game and whether we are playing bottom of the table or top of the table, all the games are difficult,” Clement said.

“I think Ipswich will come to us with a lot of motivation. They don’t want to be bottom and they need to try and close the gap between the teams above them, one of them being us.

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“They have a new manager with a lot of experience who knows the league, knows the league above and knows European football.

“He will be working his players really hard and will have had another week to instil some of the ideas of how he wants his team to play.

“We would be very naïve to expect an easy game. I’m maybe expecting the opposite… maybe our hardest game of the season.

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“This weekend we need a good positive result which will get us out of the relegation zone and it will be a good moment for us to do that because we don’t play again for two more weeks.”

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Clement believes the recent appointment of Paul Lambert, who replaced Paul Hurst, gives his side an added danger.

“There has been a lot of managers who come in and had what they call the manager bounce – that immediate impact on performances and results,” he said.

“He got a draw in his first game and I think it’s a dangerous time to play a team when they’ve got a new manager.”