Reading’s 2-1 loss at Middlesbrough may have not been the result we wanted or deserved, but Rotherham United’s 2-1 defeat to West Brom mathematically secured our safety in the Championship.
The final away game of the season saw a trip to the Riverside to face play-off chasing Middlesbrough. The Royals took the lead early on through a fantastic goal by Danny Loader, but Boro got back in the game shortly after through Lewis Wing before Britt Assombalonga scored a penalty to secure the win.
With only one game to go this season, its time to reflect on what has been a frustrating but also promising end of the campaign, and hopefully something we can build on going into the 2019/2020 season.
Jose Gomes was feeling very grateful after the game, here is what he had to say after the defeat. He spoke to the official club website and GetReading.
Gomes on securing our Championship status
“Now is the moment to say how grateful I am feeling for the way that everybody in the club – the owner Mr Dai, the chief executive Nigel Howe, all of the directors and employees – how everybody has supported me since I arrived.
“And, again: amazing, incredible, fantastic support from our fans. It is a club achievement and we deserved it. We worked very hard, under big pressure – although I suppose this is life in the Championship!
“We suffered in some moments, but we always kept hope and confidence in our work. We really worked very, very hard to achieve this moment. We have one more game, which cannot change anything, but it is the final game in front of our fans and everybody wants to finish well and give our fans three more points.
“At the final whistle, when we knew we were safe, it was a very nice moment. This is a big club with great facilities and great fans. So we must give everything that we have to help the club to be the in position that it deserves.
“There are a lot of positive things from today. We had a lot of ball possession, we played with personality. We created enough chances to get a different result. But even with this unfair result today, this is a special moment for the club.”
Gomes on enjoyment coming back into the club
“It looks a too simple and easy thing to say, but I really believe love is the strongest power in the world. When you work with love and give love to everybody - the players, the club - in the end you’ll get something back.
“That’s what happened. We came to Middlesbrough, gave all our energy with love because we love our profession and what we are doing and in the end we receive back what we gave.
“The club achievement is a result of this love.”
Gomes on youngsters playing against Boro
“It wasn’t the best moment to let the young players play - when we are losing and we had to do something. I didn’t know the Rotherham result but I felt we needed more energy in our attack and I used the players on the bench.
“I’m very happy with what they did. They gave us the energy they wanted and created a lot of chances.”
Gomes on whether he thought we’d be safe before the final game of the season
“I said from the beginning I really believed we would achieve this target. I didn’t know exactly when, but the way the players worked and the way they accepted ideas, I knew it was a question of time.
“I never thought if it would be one or two games before the end of the season. The main thing is we achieved what we wanted, we deserve it and the players deserve it. Now we have the final game on Sunday and hopefully it will be a beautiful party and a good result for us.”
Gomes on Loader’s goal and impact on the game
“It was a fantastic goal and he deserved it. He is a great professional with a big potential. We hope this goal can open the way to the goal for him.
“He worked more defensively so he was a bit far from the box. The team needed his defensive effort to help our defensive organisation with Harriott and Olise on the pitch. Even in the defensive missions, Danny is able to do it very well.”
Gomes on fan celebrations against Birmingham
“Our fans deserve to have a celebration on the final day.I said many times this season – they have been patient, they believe and support the players.
“They support this club, and in a lot of games they have helped the players to be better and to get the points that we needed. So next Sunday will be a special moment, for sure.”