Reading all but secured their Championship safety yesterday with an outstanding performance against West Brom to take a valuable point.
Yesterday’s performance shows how far the Royals have come in the last four months, from what felt like doom and gloom every time we came along to the Madejski, to enjoying a 0-0 draw against promotion contenders. The buzz and the passion from both the fans and players is back, and it is truly something great to be a part of.
We had our chances to possibly take the win, but so did West Brom and we survived a late surge from the Baggies to hold on to the point which leaves us six clear of Rotherham with two games to play.
Jose Gomes was keen to point out that the Royals are still not 100% safe and wants the focus to continue into next week’s fixture against Middlesbrough. Here’s what he had to say, he spoke to both the official club website and GetReading.
Gomes on the game
”If you watched this game, it is difficult to see which is the team that is fighting for promotion and which is the team that is fighting to stay in the Championship. We did very well and created a lot of chances.
”In the second half, they had some shots from outside the area – two times they hit the post. But my players did well and continued to create chances through Garath McCleary, Ovie Ejaria, Mo Barrow and Danny Loader. It was a very positive game.
“We played against West Brom, who have the second-best attack in the league after Norwich. But still the feeling is that we could have got the three points to resolve the situation in this game.
”Managers always want more and more. I would have really liked to dominate the game with the ball, and create goal situations this way. But my players have been brave and I think today they deserved to win this game.
”Now we need to go to Middlesbrough and do our job as well as we can. And if it’s possible, bring back the three points.
”But anyway, regarding all the work that we have been doing, we can say congratulations to the Reading family because we are building a very strong atmosphere in the stadium.”
Gomes on safety
“We haven’t finished. From my experience in football if it’s not mathematically safe we cannot relax.
“We must keep the same energy and mentality until the end of the season. It’s important for now and for next season.
“We must keep in a positive way and get good results. It’s a professional thing. A lot of people love Reading and we must respect this so we cannot relax.”
Gomes on being so close to safety
“When I was asked about the Sky pundits’ views on relegation I said they were not prepared to answer this question.
“If we make the table since I arrived Reading would be in mid table and close to the play-offs.
“For this side I am happy but managers always want more. Now we are missing the last step to getting 100 per cent sure we will be playing in the Championship next season.”
Gomes on bringing the players down after the game
“(I will) let them relax and celebrate a bit but tomorrow we have training so we must keep the focus.
“It’s not easy but it can happen (going down). We must protect and say to everybody this is the way and then we can really celebrate.
“For now, I don’t agree if someone says we can celebrate because we can’t.”
Gomes on knowing the scores from other games
“I didn’t want to know because I wanted to win the game. Sometimes if you open the space to this influence maybe you change something.
“My idea was to win. It was funny - McCleary came to the line and asked me the Rotherham result.
“I said I don’t care - I want to win the game! After there was a throw-in and the game stopped, he then went to the line and asked a fan. Then everyone knew the result and I didn’t. I only found out in extra time.
“We created chances to win and conceded some shots from outside the box which hit the post but we created more chances and with the personality and character of my players, they deserved to win.”
Gomes on losing Meite and Oliveira early on
“The players who replaced them did well, but they are different. Its a pity for them and the team.
“Nelson made a big effort to be with us so I really feel for him and for us.
“The same happened with Meite - he was in a very good moment so we’ll see what happens with them.
“It will be very difficult for them to play in the next game.
“I was expecting Nelson to play a great game today but it’s football and he was unlucky.”
Gomes on the turnaround since he has taken over
“I feel I am part of the family. I felt the way we grow is like a family - more people inside the stadium, more noise, better relations between all the players and everybody inside the club.
“In the end, football is played by men. They have feelings, they are emotional. We are definitely stronger emotionally than before.
“When we have good people, working together for the same thing then afterwards you get the results.”
Gomes on the fans
”There was big noise; they supported our players from the beginning until the end. It was a very good atmosphere and this is important for us – to feel this from our fans in our stadium.”