The Royals picked up a point with a stunning Tom Ince equaliser against Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium on Tuesday night.
Dominic Solanke gave the home side the lead in the eighth minute, but Tom Ince equalised late on to give Reading a very important point. Unfortunately, on the evening, Barnsley won which means they are now just two points behind the Royals.
Paul Ince said that it was a proper team performance. He also discussed taking off Lucas Joao to a chorus of boos from Reading fans. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the performance
“Bournemouth are a very good side, vying for promotion to the Premier League. But we were the better team tonight.
“They are very intricate in what they do, play it quickly in and around our box and we got caught with that early goal. And we’ve got to cut that out of our game, conceding early. But the response was good and we were dominant for the majority of that first half. Then after that second half, I’m standing here disappointed we didn’t win it.
“Our second half at Forest on Saturday was embarrassing. It wasn’t acceptable. And we needed a response. And they gave that response in their pressing, we kept the ball well, we created chances, we were tenacious in midfield, we were a proper team.
“Everything we asked of them they gave us tonight.”
Ince on son Tom scoring
“It's about time he scored! He’s been here long enough. Normally when he gets one he goes on a little run and gets one or two or three or four. So hopefully that happens.”
Ince on maintaining this standard
“It was a team effort today. I’m pleased for the lads.
“We’ve set a standard now. The players have set the standards. We’ve got to keep playing to that standard, whether home or away. If we play like that in the next nine games, we’ll stay up.
“We go into Saturday, at home to another good team in Blackburn, and we need our fans to get behind us.
“We’re fighting for our lives here and we’ve got to pull together. It won’t be easy at the weekend, they are another team pushing for promotion. But if we can go into that game with plenty of confidence and play like we did today, we can get a positive result and make it a good week.”
Ince on the Royals' defensive resolve
“I didn't think [it would be ‘here we go again’ after seven minutes]. I sensed even before the game in the changing room a determination on the back of Forest to put it right. I had a different feeling. In the dressing room there was a belief they could get something out of the game.
“And to do that and outplay a team vying for the Premier League says a lot, but the players need to keep producing. They've set the standard now and nothing else will do to keep us in the league.”
Ince on the relegation battle
“It's about holding your nerve. There will be lots of twists and turns. It's a long way to go. We have to play Barnsley, Hull and Cardiff. I'm not concerned who we play if we keep our performance up. We have to put the onus on us to perform week in, week out.
“It doesn't mean we will win every game, but we will at least stay in them and have a chance.”
Ince on taking Joao off
“He had Covid so we have to be careful with him. He hasn't trained all week.”
Ince on the boos at the sub
“Fans are fans. We want to stay in the league and we can't be negative. That runs through everyone - the fans, players, staff... all us guys involved can't be negative. Booing is negative. I love the Reading fans, I've only been here three weeks but they have to understand Joao had Covid. He was struggling to breathe.
“It was my decision to take him off. That's what I get paid for. Irrespective of the score, he was always coming off at that time because he was always going to struggle. He is our talisman and is the one who will get us goals. He had a couple of opportunities to score and we have to think about Blackburn, and then Barnsley and the next nine games.
“As much as fans don't understand that, that is the situation. I don't want negativity. I want everyone to pull together and if we do, we'll stay in [up].”