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Middlesbrough Fans Verdict: Royals Seal Huge Win

How the fans reacted to Reading’s third win on the trot and, importantly, the first clean sheet of the season.

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If it was possible to encapsulate the wide range of emotions supporting this club gives you into just seven days, the last week is probably the closest you’re going to get. I know every club is the same in terms of being a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions, but this club is something else.

From cloud nine last Saturday after the perfect London away day, to then come thudding back down the earth with the news of an apparent impending points deduction and more injury woes, to then go straight back up to cloud nine with another huge win against ‘Boro.

Pauno has remained adamant though that, despite the off-field doom and gloom, confidence is still high amongst the players - and after watching that 90 minutes on Saturday, it’s hard not to agree with him.

It was a really, really good performance, especially when you take in the fact that eight of our 10 outfield players were midfielders. The fans were in a wonderful mood after the game, and who can blame them? Here’s how they reacted to the key talking points...

Danny Drinkwater

I think it’s fair to say that eyebrows were raised when we sealed the signing of this guy. Let’s be honest, it had all the ingredients of a classic ‘transfer flop’. A high-earning Premier League player, who had hardly kicked a ball since 2017, dropping down a division to join a team with a vast amount of off-field trouble.

However, in only his second game in a Reading shirt, it’s clear to see he’s got more than enough to offer this season. His brain just works quicker than most others on a football pitch, and we’ve missed a player who can break lines from midfield for a long, long time.

The fans were certainly impressed with Danny’s performance on Saturday...

The makeshift defence

I was fearing the worst going into Saturday. I know Laurent stepped in brilliantly against Fulham at centre back, but with injuries to Holmes and Morrison in that game too. That left us in a very precarious position.

In the end, Pauno went with Tetek at right back, Yiadom and Laurent at centre-back and Rahman at left back. And, with that back four, we managed to come away with our first clean sheet of the season. Absolutely outstanding.

All four of them were incredible. I can’t praise them all enough, and I think the fans feel the same judging by their reaction after the game...

A huge three points

There was praise for pretty much every Royal who stepped out onto the pitch at Saturday lunch time, and that’s a mark of just how good the overall performance was.

Yes, ‘Boro were poor, but with the team we put out and the potential off-field distractions, to put in a performance as professional and as comfortable as we did is a credit to every single member of the club. It’s a credit to the players and it’s a credit to every single member of staff.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And at the moment, we’re showing we’re made of tough stuff.

Conclusion

Just a wonderful, wonderful win. With how things have gone so far this season, it’d be easy for the players to drop their heads and feel sorry for themselves. But the last four games have showed that that is exactly what this team won’t do.

They were brilliant all over the pitch. And wins like this are even more important when you factor in the possible points deduction. It’s so important we keep picking up points to make that deduction as limited damage as possible.

URZ