It’s been a tough season but Championship safety had been secured to make it a less nervy final game. However, the Royals still provided one last head-in-hands mistake against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.
The Royals sold out the away end with their inflatables, but it was Luton who took away the points with a laughable mistake by Orjan Nyland at the end of the first half for the home side to secure their place in the play-offs.
Interim manager Paul Ince made some interesting comments at the end of the game about Reading’s performance. Here is what he had to say: he spoke to the official club website, Reading Chronicle and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the defeat
“We were a bit slow out of the blocks for the first 10 minutes; we knew there’d be a party atmosphere, but once we got to grips with the game we were comfortable. There were a couple of scares but on the whole I was satisfied with what we were doing.
“Ovie Ejaria had a great chance in the first half, they had a couple of opportunities. I was talking to Alex Rae before half-time feeling like we were growing into the game, like they would get nervous and we’d get chances. But you can’t account for what happens after.
“Orjan is disappointed in there; he made some great saves in the second half, including the one he tips onto the bar, but it’s a game-changer. He knows that, and you can’t get caught with that as a goalkeeper. We gave them a leg up.
“We had a full house; we wanted to give them something to be excited about, so they can be positive going into the summer and for when they come back next year. In the second half, we were all over them.
“That can happen because they’re getting nervous. Morro had a chance and Lucas can do better with his, so that’s disappointing in that respect.
“We have shown what a good team we can be at times, and that’s without seven or eight players. We need to build on that next season. At times today we looked like a good side. If this team can have the same standards and demands that we’ve given, they won’t be in this situation.”
Ince on his future
“I’ve had very productive meetings with the owner, we’ve got some more talking to do but we know where we are next year. The fans know and we all know. It’s a wonderful club, the fans were all here today, the training ground is great, the facilities, everything is structured to get where we want to get to, but we’ve got a lot of work to do, and we’ve got to do it quick - whether that’s me in charge or someone else so we have to get moving.”
Ince on whether he has enjoyed the role
“I never enjoy something until I’ve achieved it. What we’ve achieved is unbelievable thinking where they were when we came in. It’s not just about us or the fans wanting Championship football, it’s the kit man, the admin girls, who if we go into League One lost their jobs. They’ve got mouths to feed, look at the effect it’s had on the whole club, it’s an amazing feat. We’ve had six or seven players out today so to stay in the league is a great achievement for everyone.”
Ince on Rashawn Scott
“He did well. It’s the first time Yakou had really played so he was tired after 70 minutes. That’s what it’s all about, kids coming through. He equipped himself well, he didn’t look out of place with Kelvin on at right back. The fans want to see what our players we’re producing, and I thought he coped with it. He’s gone off to play in the cup final. He’s a talented kid, if we can develop these lads it’s promising for the future of Reading.”
Ince on Tom Holmes’ injury
“Hamstring. Tom has been out for a few weeks, so it was great to have him back. Defensively we look a lot more solid with him in there but what we’ve been doing is trying to wrap people up and get them on the pitch. They’ve gone through brick walls for me.”
Ince on the fans
“It’s nice that the fans gave the players and me a good applause at the end. I’ve said before that they’ve been fantastic with me, Alex, the players… they know how what a challenge it has been to keep the team in the league; we’ve achieved that, but now there’s more work to do.
“Our fans are working people – all they want from the team is commitment, desire… they can live with mistakes and they know we’re not going to win every game.
“They want to see our players are putting it out on the pitch, which we have done, irrespective of the results. We lost, but the lads gave it a shift.
“Next year is a new season and hopefully the fans will come with a positive mood. These fans are great and they matter more than anyone at the club. So fingers crossed they’ll keep coming next season and we’ll put smiles on their faces.”