Gary Caldwell has challenged a pair of teenage strikers to match the workrate of their more experienced peers.
The boss says Delial Brewster and Ricky German struggled with the demands of pre-season, but have started to reap the benefits.
Brewster, pictured congratulating Kristian Dennis, came from Everton’s youth system and men’s football seemed to come as a bit of a shock.
Caldwell said: “When he first came he recognised he had to be a lot fitter, pre-season was hard for him.
“But he’s worked extremely hard, he looks a lot fitter in his strip and he has pace and quality.
“We have to get him in the right areas and he has to start understanding the game and how to hurt people.
“If he does that, he has the quality to score goals. We need to keep working with him.”
German, a product of the Reading academy who joined in 2015, also had to get up to speed.
And Caldwell expects more from both: “In pre-season him and Delial were two that struggled physically and we had to push them.
“I think they’ve improved a lot, their work-rate and physicality and it has to continue to improve.
“You see the work Chris, Kristian and Gozie are putting in and I’m asking for more, asking them to help keep clean sheets.
“That has to be part of Ricky and Delial’s game if they want to get in the team.”