What a turnaround we’ve witnessed from Veljko Paunovicand the players in the past six weeks. From having the leakiest defence in the Championship, to conceding just three in our last six games is a hell of an achievement. Yet again, on Saturday we showed proper grit in defence to grind out another important victory.
The performance, in general, wasn’t that great. Particularly early on in the second half when the visitors really put their foot on and came close on a couple of occasions. However, we managed to stand strong when, perhaps earlier on in the season we wouldn’t have.
It always helps too when you’ve got one of the best players in the league, if not the best, at the other end of the pitch too. Once again it was Swifty who stole the show, with a wonderful solo goal (with a handy assist from Scott Dann it has to be said).
All in all, a successful afternoons work. Three points, a clean sheet but still a lot to work on moving forwards, but the signs of improvement are clear for all to see. Here’s how the fans reacted to the Barnsley victory...
Dann and Danny
There were solid performances all over the pitch on Saturday, but Scott Dann and Danny Drinkwater were the pick of the bunch for the Royals fans.
It’s clear for everybody to see that Danny Drinkwater is too good for this league. There is a reason that he’s had the career he's had, but things just haven’t gone his way really since his move for Chelsea.
For Scott Dann, Saturday was his first start for us but you can see that the experience and intelligence he has in abundance will only do us good going forward. And if he can keep channelling his inner Andrea Pirlo every now and then too, that would be great.
The fans heaped praise on the pair on Twitter after the game...
Dann was a total brick-wall today!! Superb. ⚪️ #readingfc— Stevie p (@stevie_p1871) October 16, 2021
Describe Scott Dann without Describing Scott Dann. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/tgiTzwgXxh— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) October 16, 2021
Scott Dann immense. No coincidence that Liam Moore looked back to his best alongside him. Southwood undoubtedly our number 1 now, dominant performance. Drinkwater a class above. Ran the show in the first half. Baba showed he’s too good yet again. #readingfc— Ed Ryding (@EdRyding) October 16, 2021
The chasm between the PL and Championship is absolutely immense. Demonstrated perfectly by Drinkwater, Dann and Rahman dropping down a level and absolutely bossing it. Facing Ziyech, Werner, Kante & Mount in training, prepares you adequately for Barnsley. #readingfc— Imran Escőbar (@razor5edge) October 17, 2021
Good to see the win through today, pretty indifferent game but Dann and Drinkwater both outstanding #readingfc— Lee Wyeth (@leewyeth) October 16, 2021
Dann and Drinkwater were quality today. Never had doubts about drinkwater’s football ability. Keep him behaved off the pitch and you got a hell of a player. Also southwood massive today !! All in all great 3 points #readingfc— CM (@ronniemac93) October 16, 2021
Dann & Drinkwater very good today. Rahman not far behind. Looking more solid at the back… good win #ReadingFC— Tony Dempster (@DempsterTony) October 16, 2021
Another 3 points for the Royals, not the greatest performance but another classy goal from John Swift. Thought Scott Dann was outstanding and Danny Drinkwater with another fine performance. #REABAR #URZ #Readingfc— Paul Hunsdon (@Hunsy1969) October 16, 2021
Although it wasn't perhaps his best all-round performance of the season, it was Swift who stole the headlines once again. This man is playing on another level to the majority of the Championship this season, and his goal on Saturday proved that once again.
He is showing of the ruthlessness of a seasoned striker, whilst combining that with the technical ability we all know he possesses. He’s in the form of his life, and long may it continue. What a player.
Here’s how the fans reacted to his superb goal...
Swift’s scoring goalsssssssss #ReadingFC https://t.co/BPSdajHhOS— corbss (@WillCorbishley) October 16, 2021
Swift best in league #readingfc— Harley (@harleylane1) October 16, 2021
OMG SWIFT. That's a special goal from a special player #readingfc— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) October 16, 2021
John Swift, is unbelievable. What a goal #readingfc— Micah (@1871M1C4H) October 16, 2021
Honestly, we’re so lucky to have a player like John Swift at our club. I do hope he signs a contract extension. WHAT A KING #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) October 16, 2021
SWIFT IS GOD!! @JohnSwift8 #readingfc— cher-yl (@yll_cher) October 16, 2021
John Swift moving like a prime Nick Blackman, tears in my eyes #ReadingFC— Dan (@danoftheroyals) October 16, 2021
John Swift to the Championship after shaving his head this season. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/ToQ6rA1ryB— Imran Escőbar (@razor5edge) October 17, 2021
Another big win
After the near disastrous beginning to the season, which saw us end the first run of games with one of the worst performances I think I’ve ever seen from a Reading team at Huddersfield, to get to where we are now as a team is hugely impressive.
Although the impending points deduction still looms large, the players are doing a very good job of keeping our minds off that as fans. We look like a proper team now, one that is organised, structured and sprinkled with that little bit of quality.
Saturday was another big win, and one that kept the feel good factor around the club going, which is a really, really good feeling...
A few months ago we’d have lost that. That’s the kind of performance that was missing last season quite regularly. One bit of magic wins it. Get in there #readingfc— Brad Wills (@BradRWills) October 16, 2021
Really starting to enjoy going to tu football again, with the points deduction hanging over our heads but us playing well enough to not worry about relegation, every game feels like a free hit, and we're now playing well enough to win alot more than we lose.#Readingfc pic.twitter.com/gPs57dZDti— Matt (@lines_aviation) October 16, 2021
What a win:— MarkRobson (@MarkRobson15) October 16, 2021
- Southwood, Dann, Moore, Yiadom, Baba excellent
- Thought the Midfield where good Drinkwater controlled that & Swift where excellent.
- Azezz was very good coming on.
Thought Ejaria,Laurent & Puscas didn't play there best but we still won. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/hGMUUVwfhA
Once again Royals far from their best but defensively astute and produced a moment of sheer quality that Barnsley lacked. A very satisfying win #readingfc— joely (@dingjoely) October 16, 2021
WHAT A WIN! Come on Reading ⚪️ ⚪️ #readingfc— Jacob Newman (@JacobN_789) October 16, 2021
Odd game that one, started strong then Barnsley got themselves into the game, lots of sloppy passes from us, but great goal in the end, what a ball from Dann!! A wins a win #readingfc #uptheding— Simon Edwards (@Madstad109) October 16, 2021
After an eye opening start to the season Reading FC are now in 7th place after a 1-0 win over Barnsley. Love my team no matter what URZ #ReadingFC— Cheez.Gr8r (@Cheez_Gr8r) October 17, 2021
Daughters first @ReadingFC game today. A nice 1-0 win, may need to take her more often! Urzzzz! #readingfc pic.twitter.com/r4dMNFFgYD— Mark Hamilton (@M4rk59) October 16, 2021
A very, very satisfying win. If you can win games when you’re not at your best, that’s always the sign of a good team. There’s still a lot to work on of course, but the improvement we’ve made in six weeks is massive and huge credit has to go to Paunovic and the players.
The signings have all been fantastic, none more so than Danny Drinkwater who has added something to our team that we’ve missed for far too long. He just oozes class and can run a game from that quarter back position.
The signs are good. Onwards and upwards.