The Royals picked up a great win in their final home fixture of the year with a 2-1 victory against Swansea City.
Andy Carroll gave Reading the lead in the first half and Yakou Meite had the opportunity to make it two shortly after from the spot but he skied the penalty. Tom Ince capitalised on some poor Swansea defending to make it two. The Swans scored through Liam Cullen on 71 minutes to go to make it a nervy final 20 but we held on to get three important points.
Reading sit eighth in the Championship, just out of the play-offs on goal difference. Manager Paul Ince felt that the game should have been more comfortable. Here is what he had to say, he spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the victory
“It’s important to get as many points as we can. Our home form has been very good this season and this is a continuation of that.
“We’re at a club which hasn’t been used to winning games consistently for too long a time and now we’ve won three out of four now, which is important. And we’ve got to get used to winning games and feeling comfortable when we are in a winning position. We want to win and then move on to the next one. Three points, bang. Next one.
“But we are still celebrating wins like cup finals. Because wins are precious and mean a lot to our players and our fans.
“And at times tonight it was the manager’s worst nightmare - you’re trying to get the players to get up the park, play further up the pitch, but they just don’t move. And eventually, you just have to accept they’re not going to do it, you cross your fingers and hope they are going to come away with the result.
“But at times this evening we were fortunate when we should have killed the game; we got the penalty and and that should have been 2-0 in the first half.
“They came at us in the second half and when they get one back, you start thinking about what happened at their place and they won 3-2. And I think that got in the players’ heads because they got a bit nervous and started dropping deep and allowing Swansea to dictate the play – and they had a couple of good chances after the goal because of poor defending from us.
“They had a free header with three minutes to go - we make a silly foul because we were panicking and we put pressure on our goal at times because we panicked. One person panics and it’s a domino effect, the next one panics and then the next one.
“It’s a massive win, but was chaotic football near the end and that’s not good for a manager of my age. We’ve got to learn from these mistakes. We managed to hold on. But we won’t always get that bit of luck.
“And they should have equalised in the last minute, but they put their header straight at our goalkeeper. So we rode our luck at times and it could have gone the other way.
“But the next four or five games will be really tough. And this was a really tough one against a good side; Russell Martin has them playing some good football. But now we have to go to Norwich and West Brom and we’ll see what we can get from those two tough away games.”
Ince on Tom Ince and Andy Carroll
“Thomas is a top player and he’s so important to this football club. You saw the way he played today. He gives us something different – and 100 career goals is a great achievement.
“But he has been outstanding all season – and I’m not just saying that because he’s my son. As a player, he has been excellent. And if he keeps going, he’ll keep getting his pocket money!
“As for AC, he loves it here and the lads love him. And you can see what he brings us.
“He’s a player that has played in the Premier League and represented some of the best teams in the country, so to have him at our club, in our team and our changing room… that’s what we want. It’s important to try to get that done in January.”
Ince on Yakou Meite penalty
“Even if we scored the penalty I wouldn’t have felt comfortable after what happened at the Liberty Stadium where we were 2-0 up and then lost 3-2. You’ve got to hit the target, you’ve got to score. AC took the last one, we’ve got a few penalty takers. Shane has taken them and Tom (Ince) can take them. Yak said he wanted to take it but if you do that, you’ve got to score.”
Ince on Tom McIntyre, Baba Rahman and Junior Hoilett
“He is a clever player. He played there last season against Sheffield United and won. He understands the role and what you ask of him. He’s been out for six weeks, and he’s had two tough games so he’s not 100 percent. He gives his all and he’s one we’re lucky to have because he can play in lots of different positions. He can play left centre-back, left wing-back, left side of midfield.
“I was going to play Baba, but I thought he looked tired. He’s had a World Cup; Junior’s had a World Cup. Most of my players have had two weeks off. They haven’t, so we have to be careful. Junior doesn’t fail to surprise me, someone of his age with his numbers. He gives you coolness and calmness, he never panics. I love him. We just have to move forward. It was important to get the win today.”
Ince on managerial changes (Dean Smith was sacked by Norwich earlier in the day)
“It’s madness, and I don’t know what the answer is. I thought they should have a window for managers. When you sign a manager, especially if he’s coming from north to south, he’s bringing his wife and kids down. If a player signs a four-year contract, he will decide if he comes or goes, as a manager he doesn’t get the obligation.
“I think when you sit down in June or July and think you have the right man, and come September, you sack him, I don’t think that’s right. Let it go until January, when the players window is open, and then make a decision. At least I know if I can here and poor come January, I would have had five months at it. I deserve to lose my job.
“I’ve been here 10 months and I’m the seventh longest-serving manager. It’s not right. It’s got to be about a project. Yes, we all want to win and go up, but we don’t get that protection.”
Ince injury update
“The other day was the first time we trained with a full squad since June. It’s not to say they’re ready to play, the likes of Liam Moore and Sam Hutchinson, they will be a bit away from it. Ty [Tyrese Fornah] got a knock on his knee so he could be two or three weeks out, he did that yesterday.
“Aesthetically you look at the side now and it gives you a bit more of a buzz. It gives me a selection problem, and that’s what you want as a manager. Onwards and upwards. I’m very pleased, a great result, but we have to keep going.”