The Madejski Stadium is slowly becoming a fortress again as the Royals picked up a very important three points against Bristol City with a 3-2 victory. With three wins out of the last four home games, scoring three goals in all of them, confidence is slowly coming back and Saturday’s performance was overall very positive, but there are still improvements to make.
Yakou Meite gave the Royals the lead, but Bristol City equalised shortly after through Marlon Pack. Liam Kelly scored an absolute belter but in typical Reading style, City equalised just minutes later and of course, just before half time through Josh Brownhill. Even though Reading were under a lot of pressure in the second half, they took the lead for the third time through Leandro Bacuna and held on for a huge three points.
Clement on pressure
“I used up a lot of mental pressure this week because I felt there was a lot of pressure on this game, pressure which has been building because of our form and results, so I’m delighted for everybody involved at the club - our owners, the people who work behind the scenes and of course the players.”
Clement on the players
“The players stood up and were counted this afternoon. They put in a massive effort - that’s what I asked of them. Blood and sweat, leave it on the pitch.
“Show the fans that you’re really working and that you want it. They did that and they got the reward for it.”
Clement on the scoreline
“It’s the same scoreline and pattern as what happened at Preston - we led twice and they came back twice. But again we still had the mental resolve to keep going and try to get the result - and we did.“
Clement on the game
“Their timing of their second goal could have been a big blow for us mentally, but we responded well to it. We began level-pegging in the second half, we went again, and although they came close at the end, we were in the right place at the right time when it was required.
“And we scored three really good goals. Our goal scoring record is pretty good, considering our position in the league.
“The issue for us is some of the mistakes defensively that have cost us being the wrong side of fine margins and also in games when we’re under pressure. If we can tighten up defensively and be more solid and keep clean sheets, we’ll begin to move up the table because we’ve got a lot of quality going forward.
“Thankfully, it went the right way for us today. So, yes, perhaps I’ll sleep better tonight. But I’m sure I’ll be back to the sleepless nights thinking about the next one come Sunday and Monday night!”
Clement on the half time team talk
“I said to them that 80 per cent of what we had done was really good but we had made two big errors.
“It’s gone now - we have to treat the game as 0-0. If we can still concentrate and do the right things defensively then we will create and we will score. And that’s the way it ended up.
“The players were catching their breath and I gave them four or five minutes to do that. I think about what I’m going to say because that’s important.
“We went through what we could have done better and what we did well, and reinforce those things. And it worked out in this game.”
Clement on Andy Rinomhota
“He played really well. He’s had to be patient for his opportunity and he has been. But he’s a fantastic professional and boy every day he is really committed to learning and improving and giving his best.
“He’s a credit to the club, his family and the academy. When he came on with his other two appearances he didn’t have family at the game.
“He was surprised as they were only short appearances. But his mum and dad were here to see him. He got a nice ovation when he went off and I think it was thoroughly deserved.”
Clement on Sam Walker’s performance
“I can’t say enough about the goalkeeping department at the moment and what they are dealing with. They are supporting each other really well and I have three first-team goalkeepers.”
Clement on Yakou Meite’s injury
“He’s hurt his ankle but I don’t know the severity. It’s not bad because he could carry on but he had to come off. He was really disappointed because he scored a valuable goal for us.”
Clement on Modou Barrow
“He did well - most of the game he played on the right and I quite liked him there. It gives him more freedom to come inside.”
Clement on the fans
“The fans are really fair and honest. If they see their team not doing well then they’ll let them know.
“They are patient as well - they don’t get on the players’ backs straight away. And if they see the team giving everything then the fans will get behind them. They were great.”
Clement on our upcoming fixture with Ipswich
“Ipswich got a draw today but they’re five points behind us. It’s early in the season but it’s like an early six-pointer. If you win the game, you go eight points clear of bottom.
“And while our position in the table hasn’t changed today, it’s all condensed a little bit with the teams above us. That’s what you want - you don’t want to be cut adrift.
“Now we need to start to put a run of results and performances together. And all the focus is on next weekend now.”
Has Clement got his post-match assessment right? Have your say in the comments below.