After last week’s performance against Manchester United, there was a lot of positivity heading into today’s fixture against Nottingham Forest and rightly so, after the Royals put in a superb display to take three points and move us two points towards safety.
Reading started very well, and kept pushing forward throughout the game. John Swift returned back to his best and scored the first goal. We then continued to have chances but didn’t convert them.
Forest have had a tough week and it wasn’t made any easier when they first went down to ten men after Danny Fox was sent off, then shortly after went down to nine after a dangerous tackle from Tendayi Darikwa. Jack Robinson's own goal added insult to injury.
The way Jose Gomes has got his team playing is such an improvement and he was very happy with the ‘important step’ we have taken in getting out the relegation area. Here is what the manager had to say to both the official club website and Football.London.
Gomes on the result
“Today, the players and the supporters got what they deserved. They worked very, very hard during the week. These three points are a direct result of the hard work they have been putting in.”
Gomes on the performance
“The game was completely under control. They only created a chance in injury time, due to our mistake. But right up until that point we didn’t allow Nottingham Forest a chance, any dangerous situation.
”We were brave, intelligent, we pressed very high, we showed a strong capacity to close the opponent down, we recovered the ball in midfield and they suffered physically because they pressed and pressed to make sure we didn’t give them any chance. This is the spirit I want to see.
“We can control the game better with the ball and I think we can improve the possession side of things, but the three points were the most important thing. We didn’t play as beautifully as I wish for. But the most important thing was the way they fought to get these three points for us. They knew we had to be clinical and they were.”
Gomes on the confidence it gives the players
”The focus now is to win the next match. This game gives us the confidence to look up the table. You must put the focus on the positive things - and the players have done a lot of good things today.
”Now they have tasted the flavour of winning, they have got the taste for scoring goals. And I want to see them want it again in the next match. So this win was one very important step in the war we have in front of us. But we have 19 more battles ahead of us and this battle was very important to us.”
Gomes on the difference from previous performances
“Today we scored - that was the big difference. I actually think we played more beautiful football at Manchester United last week but today we scored. We had to be clinical in the right moment and we were. In the future we must play like this.
“It doesn’t matter if you have 70 per cent possession - we must put the ball in the net and have the taste of scoring a goal.
“I want the players to feel this flavour again - the taste of scoring. I want my players to want to score and score and score. They tried and deserved three points.”
Gomes on Ejaria and Baker’s debuts
“They did well. Baker only trained with us twice so that’s why he was on the bench. But it’s important to say - the solution is not in the new players. It must come from the players who started the season at Reading.
“They are part of the problem but they are the only solution we have in our hands. They are working very hard and are taking on my ideas.
“They really want this togetherness. We are together like a family and this is the most important thing.”
Gomes on missing players
“Harriott couldn’t play because he has a small muscle problem. Kelly being absent was my option.
“Meite twisted his ankle two and half months ago. He wanted to show me he was really brave when I came in. With the pain he tried but it’s better to take out all the pain he is feeling. When he’s ready he will come back without any pain.”
Gomes on new signings
“Not yet. I hope that we can bring another player in. The solution is with these players. The market is open, we are playing with these players and they are doing very, very well.
“They have been working very, very hard and this is the only way that I know to achieve the success that we need and we deserve - work hard.
“Work hard every week, every training session we must give the maximum and after the result will arrive.”
Gomes on Ilori’s reported move to Sporting Liston
“Maybe it’s a normal situation that big clubs for important players. If we have good players, when the market is open we can understand that some clubs want good players.
“For sure a lot of other players we have working with us can have proposals from other clubs, we don’t know. I consider it normal. I don’t know if it’s a rumour or if it’s true.
“It’s completely normal that one club wants a good player in the January market.
“What I saw today and felt during the week is that Tiago Ilori is completely focussed on the team. The other things, I don’t know.”
Gomes on the players under-performing this season
“I only talk about my team since I arrived. Since I arrived the players have been fantastic with a fantastic attitude. They really want to play like we are playing, they want to win, they love the supporters and that’s how it works, together like a team.
“The board of directors, medical department, analysts, scouts, players, technical staff, supporters, it’s very important that we must work like a family. And we are.”