Back to winning ways and a fantastic performance it was too for the Royals against in-form Bristol City at the Madejski Stadium.
After a good performance in the first half, the Royals took the lead in the second half through Ovie Ejaria. It looked like it was going to be a typical performance when Bristol City equalised through Nahki Wells with 15 minutes to go, but three minutes later Yakou Meite put Reading back ahead. Lucas Joao secured all three points in stoppage time.
Veljko Paunovic, who was yellow-carded during the match after an exchange of words with City manager Dean Holden, was delighted to get back to winning ways. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live after the game.
Paunovic on the performance
“We have been suffering this month, but I enjoyed today because of the great performance we put in today. I still have to review the game again... first in my head, then on the computer again. But my first impression is that we put in a complete performance.
“We had performances in attack like we haven’t had before and we also bounced back after they equalised - we didn’t crumble and the team reacted very well. We can still do better. But today we came up with a good balance between attack and staying solid in defence. And we got the right result, three points and played a great game.
“It was important to get the feeling of winning back again. And it feels great, it feels fantastic. And now we are building a new momentum. This was one of the best performances we have put in this year. We can enjoy it now. But we have to keep our feet on the ground.
“We love winning games. And right now we want to go and play the next game. But we have to go step by step, be very patient, deliberate and disciplined with the process.
“Enjoy now. Recover today and tomorrow. Replenish. And then go again on Wednesday.”
Paunovic on going for a third goal
“It’s the identity we’ve built. We didn’t get good results in the past month but we always fought until the end. We always want to train our mentality, even when we face our adversities. That training helped today.
“This was a must-win game so it gives a boost to our overall energy levels. Our goal is to build a new momentum when our fans are back so we can have a whole, enthusiastic approach and situation for our home game against Forest.”
Paunovic on having fans back
“I’m very excited. I want to stay patient and knowing it’s coming is great news. I can’t wait for it. But we have to wait a few more days and one more game before that first. We have to focus on that.”
Paunovic gives a George Puscas update
“He’s dealing with symptoms of sports hernia. We’re trying to fix that so he’s on special treatment right now. We’ll see how that goes over the next couple of weeks and reassess to see if he needs further or different treatment, or even a different procedure.”
Paunovic on getting heated on the touchline
“Sometimes I can be like that. The pressure was building and I love that. I overreacted at one point and I apologise for that. It’s a passionate game and I am a passionate guy. I have learned to control myself.
“It was important the players see the reaction and how passionately we live the game on the sidelines. My reaction was triggered but I don’t want to talk about that. It’s part of the game and what happens on the sidelines stays on the sidelines.
“I just overreacted to a disrespectful situation which was happening. It wasn’t related to what happened on the field.”
Paunovic on momentum
“It’s a good opportunity for us as we aim to build new momentum. Now we are in a different role compared to the beginning. There were some adjustments and we had to go through some learning.
“We are comfortable with the new role we have now. We always aim to win every game but it’s one win at a time, building that momentum will depend on how well we do and our approach towards every opponent.”
Paunovic gives a John Swift and Andy Yiadom update
“Christmas is when we expect him to be back. He’s in his final phase of recuperation and we expect him to be back before or around Christmas with the team. So far it’s going well. Yiadom will take more time.”