After a determined and dogged away point against West Bromwich Albion in midweek, the Royals went one better on Saturday afternoon in a gutsy 2-0 win over recently relegated Huddersfield Town.
During the first half, the back three - this time with Tom McIntyre for the bulk of the game instead of Matt Miazga due to the American’s early injury - showed again just how far we have come in terms of our defending and our solidity at the back. Huddersfield dominated possession for pretty much the whole opening 45 but, due to the shape and the organisation of the defence, the Terriers didn’t really create anything clear-cut at all.
In the second half, the Royals started going through the gears as John Swift and Ovie Ejaria were allowed more time on the ball in dangerous areas, and eventually punished the hosts with Ejaria dancing through the Huddersfield defence to grab his second in as many games. The points were sealed late on by man-mountain Michael Morrison who was absolutely brilliant yet again, and looks to be an absolute steal on a free transfer.
It was a truly classic Championship away performance, and another good sign of what might be to come this season under the helm of Jose Gomes. Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points...
Another defensive masterclass
Three games, two clean sheets, only six shots on target conceded in our last two. The defending was a talking point on Wednesday night and, rightly so, it got the fans talking once again after the Huddersfield game.
I don’t know how long it’s been since we’ve looked this defensively organised and structured. Out of possession, our shape is brilliant and if the opponent does manage to beat the press of the wing backs and midfield they’ve got the three centre backs to get past after.
After Miazga’s early injury, you couldn’t have blamed McIntyre if he was a little bit daunted as the atmosphere was electric and Huddersfield were dominating the ball. But the young centre half was impeccable, and more than stepped up to the plate.
Another pleasing performance for the fans to enjoy, and enjoy it they certainly did...
Liam Moore is an absolute wall, puts everything on the line. #readingfc— George Blair (@GeorgeBlairr) August 24, 2019
Obviously, if we can keep the goals out, we will win plenty of games! The defence seems settled and on point! #readingfc— Darren Seward (@darrenjseward) August 24, 2019
Not the best performance but results are the most important thing. Defence is looking incredibly solid and we're really starting to take our stride. #readingfc— Harrison Mitchell (@harrison1871rfc) August 24, 2019
2 clean sheets in our last 3. The one goal we conceded was a penalty, the defence have been an absolute unit. Hope they can continue to keep that up and we will do well! #readingfc— Tom (@TomMoore0506) August 24, 2019
An away win
The first one since March 2, and only our fourth since January 2018 - and what a way to do it. The bravery and fight to dig in in the first half and see out the pressure from the hosts, then the killer instinct - something we have lacked for so long - to put them to the sword and win the game in the second half.
Another decent following travelled up to Yorkshire and they were rewarded for their efforts yet again by their team. There is nothing quite like a Championship away win. It was our first of the season, but if we play like that more and more away from home, it surely won’t be our last.
The fans were more than happy with another solid performance and a deserved three points, and showed their excitement at the prospect of what this team can achieve on Twitter after the game...
Away win away win away win away win come on Urzzzzzzzz #readingfc— Neil Eleazar (@NeilEleazar) August 24, 2019
That's a brilliant sign, a team that doesn't play its best and can still get a 2-0 away win.. That makes me very happy #readingfc— Andy C (@RoyalBearC) August 24, 2019
2-0 win away, clean sheet. What a turn around after the first 2 games. Looked like another difficult season ahead then. Not anymore! #ReadingFC— Sam Spencer-Ades (@SamSpencer001) August 24, 2019
What’s this funny feeling I have waking up on a Sunday after a #ReadingFC win away from home and top half of table? Not had this feeling in ages— Nick Crook (@nickmightyroyal) August 25, 2019
A brilliant week
On paper it looked like a very tough week for a team that was still getting to know each other and finding their feet. But a destructive victory over Cardiff, a solid point against promotion front-runners West Brom and an away three points against the Terriers shows just how far this team have come in a short space of time.
It also shows just how much potential this team does have once they hit full flow, something that has obviously got the fans very excited.
There are no easy games in the Championship and this team and this manager will know that, but after the week we’ve had the players will be full of confidence and know that they can go toe-to-toe with anyone in this league.
The fans are buzzing, the players are brimming with confidence and there is such a good feel factor around the club - as shown by these tweets...
In the last week we’ve played two of the Premier League relegated teams, and a favourite for promotion, and won two, drawn one, scored 6 and conceded 1.— Simon (@royalsim1) August 24, 2019
We are BACK!#readingfc
7/9 this week, should of been 9/9 but we can’t be greedy, small steps. #readingfc— JDM (@RFC_Smurf93) August 24, 2019
If I had been asked this time last week about how many points we would get form Cardiff, West Brom and Huddersfield - I would have been happy with 3 or 4. To have managed 7 is just brilliant! #ReadingFC— Jonathan Lara (@jonathan_lara) August 24, 2019
To only concede 1 against 3 teams in a week, 2 of which are promising teams is a great change for the club. Bare in mind it was only a penalty we conceded as well. Things are changing #readingfc— Micah (@micahrfc19) August 24, 2019
So thats 7 points from 9 this week! Next weeks game against Charlton will be an interesting one. Lets hope we can continue with this good form. #readingfc— STAR Ireland (@STARIreland) August 24, 2019
A great performance topping of a really productive week for Jose Gomes’ men, the good times are coming to Berkshire and it’s great to watch. This team is still in its infancy and is putting in quality performances and getting results already like the ones we have in the past week. A great sign for what is to come.
Unbeaten Charlton Athletic are up next, but this team has no reason to fear anybody. Get down to the Mad Stad and get behind the boys!