What. A. Win. A 97th-minute winner by Yakou Meite lifts us to 19th above opponents Wigan Athletic and, most importantly, three points ahead of Rotherham in 22nd. We are now unbeaten in three, and we secured our first back-to-back win since December 2017.
Although we picked up three points, we didn’t do it the easy way. Wigan took the lead in the first half through Nick Powell before John Swift equalised just before half time with a fantastic free kick.
Wigan went ahead again through Joe Garner and, admittedly, should have gone even further ahead but Emiliano Martinez made two fantastic saves to keep us in the game. Mo Barrow stood up again, just like last week, and scored the equaliser in the 89th minute to give Royals fans hope. Then, step up Meite to secure the win.
Gomes on the victory
“Inside the game, we had two different sides – the football, and the fight. As I said to my players at half-time, we have these two things to deal with – to win the football, we have to win the fight.
“I told them: ‘Only God knows the final result, but you will win the fight.’ And they did. So they deserved the three points from the positive way that they played and the way that they tried.
“That’s the Championship. It’s not our style to play like this, but they won their challenges. It was like a compensation for a difficult job.”
Gomes on the players’ performance
“I am very happy and proud about the way that my players gave their energy to the game. Sometimes I didn’t like the way that we played, but I don’t know if it is possible to play a different way in these kinds of games.
“They showed today that even in a game that is played in our opponents’ style, we can win. They showed that they are prepared to fight, that they are brave, and that they can fight to the end.”
Gomes on celebrating the winner
“I didn’t think what I was doing… I was just in a very intense moment, full of passion! When Yakou scored, I ran to hug him – and I was given a yellow card! But it was a passionate moment.
“Football is passionate. Scoring in the 97th minute… wow. It was a good moment for the club, for the players, and for the environment. It’s amazing for team spirit and showing that we can achieve our goals.”
Gomes on the referee
“I thought he did the best he could. I don’t need to talk about the referee - sometimes we are happy or not happy with them but they are part of the game. They are the third team on the pitch but we cannot control this side. We must put the focus on our team.
“The very good thing is for Reading it’s the first time we have had back to back results since 2017 so it was important to give the confidence back. Like always we cannot celebrate though, we need to keep our feet on the ground because on Tuesday we have another very tough match.”
Gomes on going above Wigan
“We must keep working like we are working and keep our focus on the match that we have in front of us. On Tuesday we have another game between two teams that will fight for the three points.
“We will try to recover the best that we can because it is not easy with just two days to recover. We will count the guns that we have for this war because we have players with small injuries and some players are completely out and tomorrow we will start recovering and preparing for Tuesday’s game.
“We made a very good step - it was an important three points but we have a long way in front of us. Everything can happen so we can’t relax.”
Gomes on Ejaria going off
“He has a problem in his groin but I don’t know if he can play on Tuesday or not. We must wait for the medical department’s opinion.”
Gomes on the Championship being the most competitive league in the world
“I completely agree. We can see football, but during the games a lot of things happen outside of football. It’s a different style, different philosophy and we must adapt to this philosophy otherwise it’s impossible to win.
“That’s what my players did today, they adapted and sometimes under the rule of the opponent’s football, we beat them.”
Gomes on the physicality of the Championship
“It’s very physical. A big intensity, a very tough challenge between the players. They must be very prepared to have success in the Championship.”
Gomes on Liam Moore’s injury
“He’s really brave. He suffered but he didn’t want to come out of the game. For sure tomorrow he will feel more pain but hopefully he can play on Tuesday. We’ll see tomorrow. He gave a fantastic example today.”
Gomes on injuries
“To be prepared for an intense game we must train with intensity as well, otherwise you cannot prepare. Sometimes this happens.
“I think that Ovie is not a serious injury. What happened with Moore, we cannot make any real relation with how we are working. His arm was pulled and his shoulder was dislocated.”
Gomes on having Olise and East on the bench
“They have been working with us. It could’ve been Josh Barrett but he has a health problem. Unfortunately I couldn’t use him.
“But we must reduce the number of professional players here and give a chance to the young players to train with us and in the moment that we need them, they were on the bench.”
Gomes on picking up some wins
“It’s very nice. When you score in the 97th minute, it’s a very good feeling. But it’s also the result of what my players have been doing during the week, they have been working very, very hard.
“For the way that they fought today, they really deserved these three points.
“During half-time I told them that inside the game we have two different parts - fight and football. If you want to reach the football, you must win the fight. Only God knows the final result but I know that you will win this and we will be better than them at the fight.
“That’s why we won this game, because they fought and they deserved to win.”
Gomes on the controversy around the second Reading goal
“I heard talk about that. I don’t know why they talk too much about that. Firstly, they started wasting time from the beginning. Their goalkeeper should have received a yellow card in the first half.
“On this goal, when the referee stopped the game, which was a very dangerous attack actually, it’s usual that the referee drops the ball without the opponent.
“The referee drops the ball near the player who will start the game again, that happens a lot.
“All of them were behind the ball so they were organised defensively. We started playing in the midfield line with all of them behind the ball. The ball was our ball so I don’t find any problem.
“It is not a question of fair play. Fair play is we start with the ball. I don’t know why they complain, I cannot understand.”