The league leaders Blackburn Rovers visited the SCL Stadium expecting to continue their perfect record this season, but the Royals had other ideas with three goals and, most importantly, three points.
Tom McIntyre gave the Royals the lead in the first half, with Junior Hoilett doubling our lead in the second half. Lucas Joao sealed the win on his return to the side.
Paul Ince was delighted with the performance, stating that ‘this is us’ after the game. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the victory
“We weren’t at the races at Rotherham in the first half. But tonight, I said three words to the players at half time: ‘this is us’. That is what I expect.”
“We needed a response after Saturday. We needed a performance. And it was a great reaction and an excellent performance. We started well. We were on the front foot, the crowd was behind us, and we thoroughly deserved the lead at half time – in fact the performance merited three or four goals in the first half, so the only concern is that we were only one goal in front.
“So I always thought we’d need a second goal. And then when we scored the third goal it was probably the first time since I’ve been here that I’ve been able to breathe easy.
“Last season it was always 1-1 or 2-1… there was never a game when we were 2-0 or 3-0 up when you could just enjoy the last 10-15 minutes. So that was nice. But all the credit goes to the players.”
Ince on turning it around from our defeat Saturday
“You’re not going to play like that every week. You hope as a manager that you do, but it doesn’t work like that. The Championship is up and down, up and down. Yo-yo football. But in every game you have to work and work hard.
“Today was a great performance, I don’t use the word ‘great’ lightly. But they worked hard and produced in both halves.
“Blackburn are a very good side, I went to watch them play West Brom at the weekend – we knew how they like to play, we set our team to play on the front foot, set traps and they executed it absolutely perfectly.
“And it was great it was at home. The fans were right behind us. The crowd were unbelievable. But I also thought our fans were great up in Rotherham. Incredible from them to support the players when we were beaten so heavily up there.
“But our fans know where we are. They know it’s going to be a siege mentality this season. You just sensed from the first whistle they were with us tonight. And the fans are going to be so important to us this season.
“They’ve seen their team today give their all – and that’s all they want.”
Ince on the defence and Lumley
“Everyone is talking about the three goals but I’m talking about clean sheets. The backline were immense - Lumley, when you think of Rotherham, I told him ‘put it to bed. You’ll save us more points than you cost us’ which is easy for us to say but he still had to come out with that in his head and was world class.
“He made some world-class saves and that shows he has character about him. He has a tough mentality but I’m pleased for him more than anything else.”