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Keen On Portsmouth Victory, Blackman And Fans

As now seems to be tradition with the Capital One Cup, Steve Clarke sent Kevin Keen down to give his thoughts after Reading's 2-1 win at Fratton Park. Here's what he's had to say.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Reading boss Steve Clarke had a break from the media yesterday evening and let his assistant Kevin Keen speak about our 2-1 victory against Portsmouth in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

It was a great cup tie, with Portsmouth taking the lead late on in the first half after a mix up between Michael Hector and Ali Al-Habsi. Nick Blackman equalised in the second half before the returning Garath McCleary secured our place in the next round with a home tie against either Barnsley or Everton.

Keen told the official club website, "It was a fantastic cup tie, a brilliant atmosphere, good goals, an exciting finish, chances, saves... we're just really pleased we've come out on top and we're safely in the next round.

"Paul Cook has really got this team going here at Portsmouth, they've started the season well, they beat Derby in the last round, so to come back from 1-0 down here - I'm really pleased with the effort.

Then Nick has scored a great equaliser and it's great to see Garath come back, his first game back from injury, and he's got the winning goal. "

Keen also was very pleased with Blackman after it looked like he received abuse from home supporters which was reported to the referee, Keen told GetReading:

"Nick is slowly looking to be a really good player,

We're doing lots of work with him on his finishing, on his team play and full credit to him.

He's got good skill and he's a danger whenever there is anything in and around the area on his left foot.

Special credit as well because there were a couple of incidents in the first half with the crowd. For that to happen to Nick and for him to come through and respond in the right manner by scoring a goal that puts us on the way to a good win, shows you what sort a person he is.

So massive credit to him."

After our good run in Cup competitions since Clarke has come in, the management team are taking the competition very seriously, Keen added:

"The League Cup is a fantastic competition - and we take all the cup competitions seriously. We got to the semi-final of the FA Cup last year and the supporters had a fantastic day out, nearly seeing us get to the final.

We'll be looking to go on another run in the cup competitions again this season - you can see with the team we played tonight and the passion with which the players played, that we want to go as far as we can."

Keen also spoke about the fact that the team are not getting the credit that we probably deserve, he said:

"It's fantastic to be winning. We're quietly on a decent run - that's five games unbeaten now which people probably haven't really noticed.

We're not getting a lot of credit for our defending, and perhaps we're not getting the luck we deserve in front of goal. The two goals tonight, the winner coming from a couple of yards out, that's something that's not come about for us recently, so it's good to see."

We now go onto Brentford on Saturday before the international break and with over 2,000 fans travelling to Portsmouth last night, Keen praised our fans, he said:

"The supporters have been fantastic all season, home and away.

In the last round at Colchester, they cheered us on through extra time, they were singing their heads off tonight, trying to compete with the Pompey lot and they had a real go."