It was a special afternoon at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday when Ryan’s Royals faced Blackburn, and Steve Clarke was happy to see an improvement from his side.
In a goalless draw the Royals dominated throughout the game, and had some good chances through Hal Robson-Kanu and Hope Akpan who was denied late on.
Clarke told the official club website, "We've had a few games this year where we've had chance after chance, and especially here at home where you’re thinking the goal will come – and again it didn't come today.
"But today was slightly different, we changed the shape of the team, we played a different way, and we certainly passed the ball better and played more football. We controlled the game pretty much from start to finish. I had a little chat with the groundsman in the week and asked him to cut it a little bit shorter for us, it allowed us to pass the ball nicely. The only thing that was missing, and it’s been missing a few times this season, was getting the goal. But the team performance was very good.
"There was a great block on the line at the end. When you have 15 corners in a game you have to make them count, we should’ve got a goal from at least one of them."
The match was special as 14 year old Reading fan Ryan Duval designed a one off kit that the players would wear during the game, Clarke added: "It’s a great project, it started long before I came to the club and the players that have been involved in it for a long time would have enjoyed that day as much as Ryan, because they've been working towards that. I know Ryan and all his school chums were down there watching the game. The only slight disappointment was on the day we didn't get a win for him. But a fantastic project, a great effort from Ryan and all his school mates – it’s great when this kind of thing can happen in professional football because at the end of the day we're here for the public and it was a great occasion"
The Royals now have a huge week ahead of them, starting with a midweek game against Bournemouth. Clarke told GetReading, "We've got a difficult game Tuesday night. Bournemouth are everybody’s favourites for promotion so it'll be a tough game.
"We focus on that one next, its three games unbeaten for us now. I'd much rather we'd won one but we are more difficult to beat now and we want to continue that on Tuesday."