There is nothing - and I mean that when I say it - better in football than a 1-0 win away from home. Especially when you show the amount of courage, fight and passion that the players did on Saturday afternoon.
Let's be honest, earlier on in the season we concede in that second half and probably go on to lose. The fact that that didn't happen, and the players stood so strong throughout the Cardiff onslaught in that second half, shows the amount of growth this team has had in recent weeks.
The players left everything out on the pitch. Although our attacking output left a lot to be desired - shown by our grand total of two shots on goal in the entire game - the defensive shape, organisation and solidity shown were superb. Absolutely superb.
This international break was needed anyway considering the amount of injuries we’ve got and how stretched the majority of the players have been in recent weeks. But it’s a break we can all enjoy a little bit more now having won on Saturday.
Here’s how the fans reacted to the key talking points...
We’ll come onto the players that played in front of Southwood in a little bit, but first let's focus on the man himself. Yet again, he was different gravy. He is authoritative in the air, a wonderful shot stopper, his distribution is second to none and he’s one of our own. Is there anything not to love about Southwood?
He has made that number-one spot is own, and there’s no way Rafael gets back into this team if Southwood keeps performing the way he is. He is our number one, and I'm so happy for him for that.
The fans gave him a lot of love on Twitter after the game...
Loving Luke Southwood in goal for #ReadingFC One of our own and what a great lad. Playing so well here in damp Cardiff— Equality (@Yourrrs) October 2, 2021
Luke Southwood deserves the world. He’s been absolutely Phenomenal again. One of our own ⚪️ #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) October 2, 2021
Southwood MOTM been absolutely incredible all game and kept us in front more times than I can count #readingfc— Harry (@harry_wbg) October 2, 2021
What a win that was. Not often we look that good defensively. Luke Southwood has been top class since he’s came in. #readingfc— Micah (@1871M1C4H) October 2, 2021
Thought that was possibly Southwood's best game in a #readingfc shirt. Maybe not in terms of top drawer saves, but in terms of claiming balls into the box, composure and calm distribution. He's one of our own!— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) October 2, 2021
Rafael on the bench as Southwood shows him how to keep the ball out the net for a second time in 3 games #readingfc pic.twitter.com/5eau8Jy43G— Rob Cooper (@RobertC89059161) October 2, 2021
Rafael is never getting back in this Reading team. Southwood is absolute gravy. #readingfc— Jake (@Jake_Moore89) October 2, 2021
I am just so utterly in love with this man. To bounce back from the considerable hate and criticism he was getting in the early parts of the season, to where he’s got the club too now is a testament to him.
On Saturday after the game, he shared another poignant moment with the fans coming over to celebrate on his own after all of his players had gone back into dressing room. It’s clear to see he loves this club, the least he deserves is for us to continue to show it back.
What a bloke. And he’s definitely becoming more and more popular amongst the fans...
#ReadingFC massive massive effort!— Mick Day (@MickDay99) October 2, 2021
And a big slap on the back for our manager Veljko Paunović.
He's like Spartan General Leonidas. After three days of holding off a massive Persian army with his tiny band of heroes.
Off the back of the Huddersfield defeat, I thought the October international break would probably be the end of Pauno.— Olly Allen (@OllyAllen_) October 2, 2021
It's been a superb turnaround and we're seeing the fight he can inspire in players. Delighted he's finally getting these kind of moments with fans. #readingfc https://t.co/TBYvRBxYVz
Jesus that was insane, players gave everything and pauno at the end topped it off, URZ#readingfc pic.twitter.com/jRkjYqMOrA— Owen (@OwenHarries6) October 2, 2021
Love this from Paunovic. Don’t often get this with managers anymore #readingfc pic.twitter.com/LzXQ1G6kjz— Micah (@1871M1C4H) October 2, 2021
Remember when you all wanted pauno sacked? #readingfc— Paddy (@_Paddy_Smyth_) October 2, 2021
Say what you want about Pauno. He’s doing the business right now, it might be ugly but we’ve all cried for years for ugly performances if they bring points. #readingfc— JDM (@RFC_Smurf93) October 2, 2021
Pauno’s celebrations at full-time #readingfc— Jacob Potter (@pott95) October 2, 2021
A massive win
Wins like this just harmonise a club. They really do. The scenes at full time were special. When it really comes down to it, we don’t really care about the football we play, all we want is to see the players leave everything out there on the pitch at full time. And these players are doing that.
The wins mean as much to the players as they do to us fans and it feels so, so good to have the whole club pulling in the same direction. There’s a lot to work on, of course there is, but this is a huge win. A win the fans absolutely loved...
I think that’s one of the performances of the season. Massive reaction from the Derby match, exactly the sort of game we need to win this season with Cardiff having a poor season, and put a massive shift in to hold the lead. Very Sheff Weds 2017-esque #readingfc— Sam Hudspith (@samhudspith24) October 2, 2021
A clinical, well fought win. I don't care about the stats, I'm buzzing. Love you so much, #readingfc— Becki White (@MissBeckaEllen) October 2, 2021
That was the exact win #ReadingFC fans were begging for a month ago. Fantastic result.— steven (@cabin__13) October 2, 2021
Class win today the defense and team put a proper shift in. Liam Moore was immense today he literally put his head in front of everything #readingfc— Josh Davies (@Jd_rg) October 2, 2021
Big win. Up the ding. #ReadingFC— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) October 2, 2021
Game 10 v Cardiff City.— stacey (@royal4ever07) October 2, 2021
Got to love away games like today! Another win and an important 3 points on the board ⚽️ ⚪ #readingfc #football #202122season pic.twitter.com/fsabNbfy57
Brilliant win yesterday. Hard fought throughout and defended very well against tough physical opposition.— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) October 3, 2021
Six points out of nine in a week is very good going especially with the injuries that #readingfc currently have
What a day, what a result, what a club.
Every player out there played with the spirit and fight we all want to see our team play with. They were a credit to the club, and now they get a well deserved couple of weeks rest until our next game.
I love this club, and wins like this just grow that love even more.