Reading continued to prove people wrong with a brilliantly deserved 1-1 draw against Norwich City at the SCL Stadium. We could have gone in at half time 2-0 up but Andy Carroll had his header saved and Jeff Hendrick’s shot hit the post.
Grant Hanley gave the visitors the lead in the second half before Hendrick equalised 10 minutes later. A good performance against a good side.
Reading remain third, just two points behind Sheffield United and Norwich. Here is what manager Paul Ince had to say after the game. He spoke the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the performance
“We deserved something out of the game and we got it.
“In the first half we very, very good. We created good chances - Andy Carroll’s header, Jeff’s hit the post, Thomas is inches away from getting on the end of Junior’s cross – we just needed that goal.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my players. And yet we’re disappointed. The lads are in the dressing room disappointed we haven’t won that game. And that is a rare feeling to have when you’ve just played a side like Norwich.
“But this is where we’re at right know. The players know when we’ve played well and they know when we’ve played poorly and the players make themselves accountable. And today we were very good.
“I had a concern about tonight. It’s Norwich. They’ve just come down from the Premier League and they are a top team with top, top players. And they played some lovely stuff at times today.
“But the workload this same group of players are putting in is nigh on miraculous. For these players to go out there and take the game to Norwich – it was brilliant to see.
“Andy Carroll was outstanding. He was powerful, he was clever and you need someone like that – someone who can hold the ball up. And he worked well with Thomas – and the workload they put in was phenomenal.
“The back five… I think Norwich had one shot all game. To restrict a team like Norwich to one shot at goal is credit to the defence, the goalkeeper and the players who worked hard in front of them.
“Junior is playing left wing-back, right-wing-back, and he doesn’t moan at all – he just gives us quality. In the first half he was unplayable.
“These players keep proving people wrong. This game was going to be a bit of a yardstick of where we are as a team. And it showed that, on any given day, if we’re at it, we can compete with any team in this league.”
Ince on a penalty shout and the referee
“We had a blatant penalty - Hanley handled it from a throw - the referee nor the linesman saw it and this is the problem when you don’t have VAR. It’s a stonewall penalty and then we are 1-0 up so that disappointed me. The officials have to see that but overall we competed with them and didn’t look out of place.
“We didn’t get much from the referee. Sometimes with the big teams...I don’t want to say too much but some of the decisions I felt he got wrong. I’m not going to complain though. It’s a tough, tough job. I’m pleased we got a point.”
Ince on Andy Yiadom
“He might, at a push, be okay for QPR. If not, it’ll be against West Brom next week.”