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Clarke On Brilliant Bristol City Win

Reading put midweek woes behind them with a 0-2 victory at Ashton Gate. Here's what Steve Clarke had to say about the match.

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It's back to winning ways for the Royals this weekend with a convincing 2-0 victory against Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Early quick-fire goals from in-form Nick Blackman and the returning Garath McCleary sealed three points after disappointment midweek.

Steve Clarke was very happy with the win, he told the official club website, "It's difficult to go away anywhere in the Championship, but we came here and made a great start with two goals in the first 15 minutes. From there it was quite a comfortable afternoon for us."

"They were two good shots - they came from spaces we thought would appear in the course of the game, and we exploited it well. The preparation was good for the game. We knew the strengths and weaknesses of Bristol City and we managed to exploit the weaknesses early in the game."

"Bristol City's strengths showed late in the game when they kept going and kept coming at us, and then my goalkeeper, back four and midfield in front were solid and didn't give much away.

"It's always nice when you go away from home and get the first goal because the onus is more on the home team to come forward. I've seen Bristol City a few times this year and Steve Cotterill wants his teams to attack. Sometimes it pays off for them, and today it didn't because we got the goals to get in front and then we defended the lead very well.

"But it is nice to come away from home and have a solid performance, get a clean-sheet, and that meant two goals was more than enough to get us the three points."

Clarke was very happy with his back four, in particular Paul McShane and Michael Hector. McShane even received stiches in the first half. Clarke added: "Paul is a warrior - he has been in the game a long time, and he understands what the game is about and I was very impressed with Michael Hector - he has had a strange few weeks where he went to Chelsea but didn't really go there because he came straight back to us.

"His performance today was outstanding - this is the Michael Hector I saw in the second half of last season and he showed why two Premier League clubs wanted to pay a lot of money for him."

Next up is Everton in the league cup before a trip up to Burnley in the league next weekend.