Tabb: Royals can emulate Swansea and NorwichBy Adam Lee
June 06, 2012
Royals midfielder Jay Tabb believes the club should use the success of Swansea and Norwich as a template when they return to Premier League action in August.
Although not unheard of, it remains quite rare for all three newly-promoted clubs to avoid immediate relegation back to the Championship.
QPR only beat the drop on the last day of the season, but Swansea and Norwich guaranteed their safety weeks before the final round of games, both finishing 11 points clear of the relegation zone.
And Tabb believes Reading must be aiming as high, if not higher, when they return to the Premier League following a four-year absence, especially with the strength of the squad at their disposal and the financial muscle they can now flex in the transfer market.
“This club is ambitious and they have set their sights high,” he said.
“If you look at how well Swansea and Norwich did then we have to try and do that and maybe better.
“I’m sure there will be players coming in so there is going to be more competition for places.
“It will be a tough year this year. It’s nice to have seven subs back instead of five and I’m sure we will have a competitive squad again.
“I’ve played against Premier League teams in cup competitions, but playing them week-in week-out is a lot different.
“Playing those big games back to back is something I have never experienced, but we have a number of players that have and the coaching staff know what to do to prepare us.
“It will be different, but I can’t see it being too hard to adjust to.
“I’ll be looking forward to the day the fixtures come out – it’s exciting times right now.”
The 28-year-old found holding down a regular first team place hard work last season.
He started just 12 times in all competitions and coming off the bench a further nine times.
But Tabb will look to an example set by another former Reading midfielder when they return to action next year.
When Royals were last promoted to the Premier League in 2005/06, Stephen Hunt made just 11 starts in all competitions, although he did come off the bench a whopping 35 times.
However, Hunt, who like Tabb is a player renowned for his remarkable work-rate, became an integral part of Royals’ team during the following three seasons, before landing a multi-million pound move to Hull City.
And although Tabb admits he has been enjoying some downtime since Reading won the Championship title, he has been keeping himself fit and believes he will return to pre-season training in a month’s time as fit as ever.
“I’ve been taking it easy since the season finished, but at the same time I’ve been keeping myself ticking over down the gym as well,” he said.
“It has been a little bit hard to switch off from football as everyone is keen to pat you on the back about promotion – that’s hardly a bad thing though.
“I can switch off and do the normal things, but you have to remember the need to come back in good shape too.
“I’m watching what I’m eating and drinking and have a fitness programme to work on, but a couple of weeks before we are back I will really start to concentrate on what I have to do.”