On Saturday, the Royals put in a performance that capped a much-needed and vitally important week of results. After the humiliating loss to Wycombe Wanderers, there were huge questions asked of Pauno and the players - and rightly so. But they’ve answered those questions pretty well ever since.
Saturday afternoon was the perfect performance, albeit against a 10-man Sheffield Wednesday team clearly extremely low on confidence. Michael Olise ran the show, Lucas Joao bagged a goal, the Scottish Pirlo slotted in seamlessly in midfield and we sealed another clean sheet, too. Pauno couldn’t really ask for a better afternoon.
The fans were very, very pleased after the match and who can blame them? The team and the manager have responded perfectly since that loss to Wycombe and three wins, three clean sheets and nine points from the three games since show that.
Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points to come from the third win on the trot...
The debate (that in my opinion should never have been) regarding who should start at right-back between Tom Holmes and Andy Yiadom has now well and truly been settled.
Holmes has been very good this season filling in for Yids, but that’s exactly what he’s been doing: filling in. Yiadom has proved since joining the club that he’s one of the most consistent performers in the league, and he put in another top-notch showing against Wednesday.
The fans love him, and are delighted to see him back fully fit and firing - and I think the general consensus is that he's going to be a very important player for us between now and the end of the season...
The full backs were the real deal though, Richards is a monster thats going to the top. Yiadom is so, so, good & what a relief he’s back, very involved today, goal & an assist too - my MOTM #readingfc— Nick Houlton (@Houlton11) March 7, 2021
Andy Yiadom, absolutely superb. Up the ding!— alex (@alexxmitchy) March 2, 2021
So many contenders but you’ve got to give it to Andy Yiadom. Goal, assist and a clean sheet, he’s back to his best— Luke (@Luke1871_) March 6, 2021
What a player andy yiadom is, people doubted him when he came back from injury, but if you're doubting him now then you need to give your head a wobble.— eDing (@e_ding10) March 6, 2021
GET IN THERE YIADOM!!! Game set and match. What a win this is ⚪️ #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) March 6, 2021
Holmes' performances at RB and the signing of Esteves, made everyone forget just how good Yiadom actually is. #readingfc— Imran Escőbar (@razor5edge) March 6, 2021
Yiadom is the best RB in the leauge. Not up for debate.#readingfc pic.twitter.com/qoQh5XF0US— Joe (@RFCJoeJ) March 6, 2021
The Scottish Pirlo
Paunovic has flirted now and then with playing McIntyre in centre midfield. In the early stages of the season, he came off the bench to play that role a lot as we saw out wins, but this was the first time he’s started there - and probably won’t be the last.
He ticked the game over really nicely and slotted in seamlessly to the midfield. He offered us something that maybe we haven't had much this season and that’s the ability to pick a pass from the base of midfield.
He was brilliant, the fans love him anyway because he is the epitome of ‘One of Our Own’ but they were loving him even more after the game on Saturday...
Not sure if @Tom5Mc is the Berkshire Maldini or the Berkshire Pirlo now #readingfc— Todd-ED (@TED247) March 6, 2021
Telling you now, TMc's got a decent future in midfield. Fits his stature, for me.#readingfc— BobbinsRoyale (@BobbinsRoyale) March 6, 2021
Absolute appreciation post for Tom and also Liam Moore, who, I think has been a model captain this season and in turn Tom is coming out as a model pro.— Niall - Guilty, I support Reading. (@Reading106) March 7, 2021
If rumours were true in the summer TMc could easily have sulked away but he's smashed it. You love to see it. #Readingfc https://t.co/z7fwFX1CfP
Long haired Tom Mcintyre might be our best player of all time #readingfc— George (@GS_1871) March 6, 2021
TMAC CDM, Pirlo and Maldini in one player????? What a man. #readingfc— Sam.wazza (@SamWarr62044501) March 6, 2021
Tom McIntyre was a bit phenomenal today #readingfc— calum (@caldini4) March 6, 2021
Being a good passing CB doesn't automatically qualify you to be a good midfielder. Can't overstate how poor Sheff Wed were but that was a hugely encouraging display at CDM from McIntyre #readingfc— Jordan Cottle (@JordanCottle) March 6, 2021
Three out of three
It’s been the perfect week hasn't it? Three games, three wins, three clean sheets - the best possible outcome from three very tricky games, and at such an important stage of the season.
The fans were asking serious questions before last weekend’s game against Rotherham, after a rough run of games had left our play-off spot looking a lot more precarious than it was at the end of January.
The reaction has been second to none by everyone at the club - staff and players. However, there is still a long way to go and we have some huge games coming up in the next few weeks. But the mood among the fans is looking a lot rosier now...
After the Wycombe debacle I thought we were done. 3 wins on the bounce in a week since #readingfc— Luke Thurlow (@luke_1871) March 6, 2021
Absolutely massive week. Confidence boosting too. 3 wins, 3 clean sheets. Week off before forest. URZ! ⚪#readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) March 6, 2021
3 straight wins, 3 straight clean sheets , 60 points . What a day #readingfc— George (@GS_1871) March 6, 2021
Great win boys!!! 3 goals clean sheet 9 points this week and confidence up. Enjoy everyone and on to next week. What an opportunity next week away at Forest while Bournemouth play Barnsley. Every week is important but wow a win next Saturday would be gold @ReadingFC #readingfc— Richard Crewdson (@crewy100) March 6, 2021
Sunday’s are always so much better after a #ReadingFC win.— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) March 7, 2021
Really good to have a week off now. Rest up, hopefully see a few of Rino, Meite, Ejaria and swift back soon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend Royals!
Love it boys! Another 3 points on the board ⚽️ ⚪ #readingfc— stacey (@royal4ever07) March 6, 2021
Positive all round performance, another clean sheet and a big 3 points! All with a fair few big players missing, you can't complain! #readingfc ⚽— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) March 6, 2021
Things you love to see! (Part 35/46)#ReadingFC— Jon Gould (@JonG0uld) March 6, 2021
Fairly comfortable performance with a scratched together 11 today. Add some first choice players back into the team and keep this run of 3 wins going! pic.twitter.com/W7DoLFdGix
The perfect end to a perfect week. Couldn’t have asked for any more really could we?
There are some huge games coming up though and Pauno will make sure that the players almost forget about this week and put all eyes on next week at Nottingham Forest.