Reading FC manager Paul Ince plays down significance of relegation six-pointer at Barnsley FC

Reading FC interim manager Paul Ince has played down the significance of his side's Championship fixture at Barnsley.

The sides meet at Oakwell in a huge fixture in the relegation battle, with the Royals five points ahead of the Tykes in the table.

Both sides have shown plenty of fight in recent weeks with Barnsley picking up vital wins against Hull City and Middlesbrough at the end of February while holding Fulham to a draw last month.

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Reading claimed four points from games against Bournemouth and Blackburn Rovers and Ince insists that his side's second-tier status is not riding on tomorrow's fixture.

“Whatever happens to Reading this year, it will not be based on what happens on Saturday,” said Ince, with Reading occupying 21st place.

“We’ve got another game on Tuesday and we’ve still got plenty of games to play. Every game we play is going to be a big game.

“They are all big games. We’ve got to be calm and cool. If they beat us, then we’re still two points clear.

“If we get a result, it keeps them away from us but it’s not just them. We’ve got to just look at us, focus on our performance and what we do.

KEEPING IT COOL: Reading FC interim manager Paul Ince. Pictures: Getty Images

“If we perform like we did against Bournemouth and Blackburn, we’ll be okay but if we don’t, then we will get beat, it’s as simple as that.

“If we can get a win, then great, but if we don’t, then we go again on Tuesday and then again on Saturday with two home games.

“You can’t start guessing results, the Championship doesn’t work like that. So I’ll say to the players, be cool, be calm and enjoy the challenge. Go and play and express yourself. Just play and relax.

“We’re in a good frame of mind. It’s not all on Barnsley. It’s another game and a chance of picking up three points.”