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Jose Gomes Praises Defence In Sheffield Wednesday Draw

The gaffer’s take on what went right and wrong for Reading at Hillsborough.

I think the majority of Reading fans can feel that Saturday’s result is positive. It’s not a win, but an important point in our fight against survival. The point against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough means that we are unbeaten in three matches and have kept two clean sheets in a row, our fourth under Gomes. The huge worry is that we are struggling to score.

Next up for the Royals is Blackburn Rovers at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday and this is an absolute must-win to capitalise on the hard work that the players have put in over the past couple of weeks. Jose Gomes felt that a point was a fair result but was disappointed we couldn’t get a goal to steal three points; he spoke to both the official club website and Football.London.

Gomes on the performance

“It was a very difficult pitch – windy weather, the ball bounced a lot, so not easy to get the ball on the ground and play. I didn’t always like the way we played today. We played more direct football than usual, which is not under our process. It was not easy conditions, but I think our players could have played our way more.

“But in the second half we played better. Both sides had good chances. It’s true that Emi Martínez made one good save again, but there were one or two good opportunities for us in the second half.

“I’m not pleased for the result, because we played for the three points. But we hope that this is one more important point towards our target. But they played better in the first half, and we played better in the second. So in the end, a fair result.”

Gomes on resolving defensive problems

“We have resolved one important problem. We are stronger now in our defensive organisation; it is not easy to score goals against us. It will give confidence to us in the future and it is an important sign that we are defending well and defending properly.

“We were able to protect our goal. If you don’t score, you don’t suffer as much and you’re nearer to getting a win – one goal will do.

“We know that we need to win though. If we draw all of our games until the end, it may not be enough. We need more points to be safe. At home or away, we need to get more points. Hopefully this will come on Wednesday – we’ll score more, and win.”

Gomes on getting an away point

“In the table it’s just a point. If you get it away it’s still a point. It doesn’t matter if it’s away or home. To win we need to score so hopefully on Wednesday we will score.”

Gomes on trying something new upfront

“The idea was to give Aluko the aim to move the Wednesday central defenders to another zone to allow McCleary and Barrow to get in behind, and even Baker. We tried it a few times and we did create some dangerous situations but we could not do it often enough.

“In the second half I waited 10 minutes before making the change and putting Aluko in the no.10 position.”

Gomes on why Bodvarsson and Meite didn’t start

“The way we are watching the Championship - at the end of games a lot of the football is different. The last 10 minutes is different and we must be prepared for that. A lot of long balls, free-kicks and Bodvarsson and Meite are strong in the challenge. Jon won a lot and Meite won a few as well.

“But in the first half it was different. It’s difficult if the game changes and you don’t have another solution.”

Gomes on keeping a clean sheet

“The point was good today, as was the way we finished. And the third good point was a clean sheet.

“It’s good for the future. Emi is helping the team and he did a great save today. He’s doing a good job and hopefully he will keep doing that.”

Gomes on the lack of goals

“This is the bad thing. We don’t have another way apart from going on working and trying to resolve this problem.

“During the week we will work on this. We have quality players to do it and I’m sure we will.”

Gomes on subs making an impact

“Wednesday were giving a lot of space at the back so I chose Meite because he is a fast player. We got some chances with Meite, Baker and Barrow but in the end - the last pass, the touch or the shot they defended.

“They did well, they fought, they won the aerial challenges in the second. Some balls went to Barrow or Harriott - we finished better than Wednesday.”

Gomes on Oliveira

“Not a big difference - it takes time. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. We are training so we will see. He has been doing some work in the gym so if he feels better maybe the doctor will give him permission to train outside with us.”