The avid Fans’ Verdict readers (I know you do exist, somewhere) will have noticed that there was no edition after the Preston North End game at the weekend - the first one I haven’t been able to do all season and what a game to miss. The first win of the year, Lucas Joao being Lucas Joao and the small matter of Veljko Paunovic leaving and Paul Ince coming in on an interim basis.
Anyway, it’s back now and I finally get to round up the reaction to a win - three entire points! Count them! In all seriousness, it’s been a tortuous few months but things have started to finally look a little rosier recently. It’s crazy what a couple of wins - and the exit of a vastly unpopular manager - can do for fan morale.
Back-to-back wins for the first time since October - it’s been a seriously long time coming, hasn’t it? Tuesday’s performance was by no means perfect, but it was such a big improvement on what we’ve had to endure so far this year.
Here’s how the fans reacted to the key talking points...
How much have missed this guy? Answer: a lot.
On his day, when he’s fully in the mood, he is one of the best in the league. He’s strong, technically gifted and so instrumental to the way we play. But, most importantly of all, as he’s showed since he came back into the team, he’s a goalscorer.
He will win us games if we keep him fit and firing, as he did on Tuesday evening with a lovely finish to open the scoring. He’s always been a fan favourite, and the fans loved his performance on Tuesday...
Fullbacks, centre mids and Joao class tonight #readingfc— Dave McCormack (@davemc_exile) February 22, 2022
YES JOAO!! #readingfc— Luke Tizzard (@luke_tizzard) February 22, 2022
I’ve said it once I’ll say it 100 times, Lucas Joao is the best Portuguese player that’s ever played in England #readingfc— callum (@callum_abraham) February 22, 2022
Vencemos mais uma, continuamos na briga pra não cair mas estamos fazendo nossa parte. Lucas João monstro mais um vez marcou, e não a palavras pra descrever Jonh Swift oque esse cara tá jogando é um absurdo! #readingfc pic.twitter.com/JoQsd26sGX— reading fc Brasil (@Readingsupport4) February 22, 2022
Lucas Joao what would we do without him honestly #readingfc— RfcMiliano7 (@RFCmiliano) February 22, 2022
I do feel sorry for any team who come up against Joao, Rino and Yiadom, absolute machines. They must be terrified#readingfc— RFC news (@RFCnews2) February 23, 2022
Lyle Taylor has posters of Lucas Joao on his wall #readingfc— jacob ainscough (@ainscough_jacob) February 22, 2022
He may not have scored, he didn’t even manage to get a clean sheet, but Andy Yiadom was my, and many other Loyal Royals’, man of the match on Tuesday evening.
Full backs tend to be underappreciated in a team in my opinion, and Yids is no different in that. We have been seriously lucky to have a player of his quality, attitude and reliability for nearly three years now.
Another one that’s out of contract in the summer so who knows what his future holds, but while he’s still here and putting in performances like that, the fans will continue to show him love like this...
Yiadom has to be MOTM surely #ReadingFC— Tatum (@TatumRFC) February 22, 2022
All credit to Yiadom there. Not 100% convinced it was a pen, but what an absolute lung-buster of a run and Ince put it in just the right place.— Greg Double (@Dubstep1988) February 22, 2022
...even better than that, we've just made a sub that improves the team. #readingfc
Tell you what, since the fan confrontation Andy Yiadom has been phenomenal #readingfc— Callum (@Callumc1871) February 22, 2022
Credit goes to Yiadom there. Some run that! #readingfc— (@steel_beake) February 22, 2022
Yids was unreal. Won the pen at one end followed by a game saving challenge at the other. Love it ⚪️— (@georgestw1tter) February 22, 2022
Need to sort Andy Yiadom a contract asap. Gives his all every single game. Consistent, good rapport with fans and rarely injured. We would miss him massively and no doubt end up with another Gunter who is ever present but not a great footballer #ReadingFC— Pedro‼️ (@PictonPedro) February 22, 2022
Jesus what a win. I was so tense ended up about 2” from the tv can’t doubt anyone tonight, Yids was outstanding. #readingfc— Arthur (@Rubin_46) February 22, 2022
Who thought we’d be saying that just a couple of weeks ago? Back-to-back wins. Combine that with the 0-0 at Peterborough United (which was rightly met with utter fury on social media) and that’s three games unbeaten. It’s crazy how much two victories can change the context of things.
Everyone to a man was superb on Tuesday. I’ve highlighted Joao and Yiadom above, but I could so have easily spoke about any of Drinkwater (yes, Drinkwater), Swifty, Rino, Hein or McIntyre.
We’re by no means there yet, but a win is exactly what the doctor ordered against the Blues, and the fans loved it...
Back to back wins. Oh lordy #readingfc pic.twitter.com/HOuj1LnWau— Joe Harding (@Harding5) February 22, 2022
Back to back wins. Who’d have thunk it.— Chris Beale (@bealec1988) February 22, 2022
Hull lost an all. Win our game in hand and we’d only be two behind them.
All aboard the Paul Ince train to the warm embrace of mid table mediocrity. #readingfc
Come on Royals!!! 3 points, back to back wins! That’s more like it!! #readingfc— Rebecca (@rebeccacooper01) February 22, 2022
So pleased #ReadingFC could hang on for a win tonight. 7 points in last 3 games. 2 points in previous 10.— Henry HoppyAF (@HoppyAF) February 22, 2022
First win since 27 November. First back to back wins since 16 October. What a relief! #REABIR #Championship
Absolutely MASSIVE WIN #readingfc pic.twitter.com/hqiOPHYh6q— Chazzer (@charlie_r_17) February 22, 2022
BIG 3 points for #ReadingFC tonight.— David Reilly (@DavidReillyTV) February 22, 2022
“Paul Ince’s Barmy Army” got its debut, too. Hopefully, this win will release the pressure and keep them safe. What a week for the Royals?!! pic.twitter.com/H1S91xa2BH
Get in there Reading! Seems a very long time since I saw a #readingfc win, even longer since one at home midweek. Onto Blackpool!— Mark Harding (@markharding1988) February 22, 2022
Genuinely forgot how good a home win felt! Support tonight was buzzing we could hold on at the end #readingfc— Alex Dow (@AlexDow9) February 22, 2022
That is a massive massive win though— Pipey (@matt11p) February 22, 2022
Viva la Paul Ince #readingfc
A really, really big win. I am not getting ahead of myself because we’re still in trouble, but the last two games will give the players the world of confidence, and it’s boosted morale among the fans too, which is arguably even more important.
The most important thing in the last two games, for me anyway, have been the last few minutes. How many times have we seen this team concede and then concede again and again and again this season? Heads dropping has been a huge problem for us this season. But to see the two games out the way we have done is massive.