The Royals put on arguably their best display of the season after keeping league leaders Norwich City at bay for 85 minutes, and earning a really important point with a well-deserved 2-2 draw
After going 1-0 up through Yakou Meite in the first half. The Canaries scored two quick goals to put the Champions elect ahead with just minutes to spare, but Andy Rinomhota scored a fantastic goal with just seconds remaining to secure a really important and deserved point.
There was not one Reading player who didn’t give their everything, blocking everything that came their way defensively, and actually taking their chances when we had them. With Rotherham and Wigan losing, this point sees us in 20th place with five games remaining.
Gomes on the game
“We never gave up.
“When they scored the first goal, the feeling was: it’s not fair. That’s because we did everything so well for so long, and then we were missing out on points.
“So it is a mix of flavours. We were winning for a big part of the game, and then towards the end the feeling was that we were going to lose.”
Gomes on the team spirit
“The team spirit, the brave way that my players fought; they really deserved something. We played against one of the strongest teams, as you can see from the table. It was an important result for us and will give us confidence for Saturday.
“We deserved to get something from the game, and we did. That’s because of the courage that we showed. We cannot forget that we were playing against the team that is top of the table – a team that have scored 82 goals in the league.”
Gomes on his game plan
“It was a different plan; usually we don’t play like that,
“Regarding the opponents’ strongest points, we decided to play like that, because of everything we studied. And my players did very well – they followed the plan, 100%.
“We had to protect against their strongest points and use the spaces that they give, especially at home. My players did very well.
“We blocked the way to the goal. But for their first goal, they opened a bit of space and they scored a great goal.
“And then when they scored their second, our players shifted very quickly – it is difficult to change so quickly, when you’re set up to defend like we were and then you need to attack to get something. We created dangerous situations and finally got the goal we deserved.
“It was a great goal by Andy. I didn’t know that it was his first one, but it was a great goal. And a very important goal for us.”
Gomes on the impact of that result
“That’s the spirit we need for the end of the season. We need to be brave and to believe until the end.
“I’m very proud to be a manager of these players for the way they have been working and the way they showed today I can trust them.”
Gomes on Martinez’s saves
“He did a great save from a long shot and Pukki’s header. We could have scored as well but missed with Yakou. Some counter attacks we could have taken better decisions.
“The idea to defend deep allowed us to use Barrow and Meite and their pace. I think they did very well.
“We are fighting to stay in the Championship and they are top of the table but it was an important and fair result.”
Gomes on Norwich’s second goal
“To stay with more than 80 minutes with three points, and after we lost everything it wasn’t fair
“But it was fantastic, the way the players believed when we changed with Loader and Baldock.
“The way they changed the spirit they put Norwich under pressure was great. Great attitude and great spirit.”