What a week! Seven points out of a possible nine and we are now unbeaten in four games after a great 3-1 victory against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was nervous about the game, in normal Reading style, going to a side who haven’t won at home in 2017 would have meant a sure defeat, especially as it was Chris Coleman’s first game in charge at home, but the Royals played well and picked up an important three points to lift us to 14th.
Dave Edwards was on the scoresheet again, and a brace from Mo Barrow sent the Royals fans away happy, although Lewis Grabban scored a consolation penalty for 10 man Sunderland.
Jaap Stam was understandably pleased with his sides victory, he told the Official Club Website:
“It was their first home game under the new manager, so we expected them to be really up for it, go forward, to press, to not let us play and be very aggressive… and look to score that first goal.
“We were warned about that and I think the players responded very well to that warning – they worked hard, we stayed in the game, didn’t concede and we scored that first goal ourselves.
“We created a very good chance of our own with Edwards in the box in the first half but he didn’t score it. And then at the end of the first half, they get that second yellow card and the sending off.
“And second half, it’s working out how to position yourself. You know they might drop in deeper and wait for the right moment to come out and that’s very difficult to play against. But we responded well, scored three good goals.
“We’re always talking about scoring goals. We’ve been creating opportunities all season, but you still need to finish them. Now we’re getting the opportunities and scoring some very good goals.
“After that we took it too easy and invited them to press us a little bit, which you don’t want to do because then they score that goal, get a little bit of confidence and it’s still a bit tense towards the end.
“It was a tough game. But overall in how the team has done, how they worked, how they reacted to certain situations and how they played during periods – we’re very happy with that.
“You want to be consistent in this league, all teams want that consistency in the Championship. So we want to stay in this flow, keep this feeling and keep winning games. But, with Cardiff City next up at home, we’ll need to be up for it and show our quality if we want to earn three more points.”
14th placed Reading are now within nine points of the play-offs, and ten clear of the bottom three. Can they close the gap on the top six when they entertain Cardiff City a week Monday? Let’s hope so.