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Paul Ince Buzzing After ‘Unreal’ Performance Against Middlesbrough

Ince discusses another big home showing, Tyrese Fornah, Sam Hutchinson, Lucas Joao and more.

Reading v Brighton & Hove Albion - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

What a win! The Royals now sit third in the Championship after a 1-0 victory against Middlesbrough at the SCL Stadium. Tyrese Fornah scored the winner to secure three points for Reading. The defence also put a good shift in to keep a clean sheet after being on the back foot during the game.

Paul Ince commented that the performance showed unity and spirit. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.

Ince on the victory

“It was an amazing performance. And we were amazing in a different way to Wednesday. The win over Blackburn took a lot out of us, pressing, on the front foot – so for pretty much the same players to come in again today and perform the way they did, in a way it was an even more amazing display than in midweek.

“And I love 1-0s. Everyone’s happy – the goalkeeper and defenders have a clean sheet, the midfielders and the forwards created the goal. From 65 minutes, I could tell the lads were tired. But they dug in. And they proved what an amazing group of players they are.

“Clarkey comes on and makes an unbelievable block at the end, Thomas ran himself into the ground and still made a tackle at the end – that’s what it takes!

“We were exceptional in a different type of way. The players battled for each other. And I’m more proud of my boys today than I was on Wednesday. The performance they put in was unreal.

“If we’re going to stay in this league, we’ve got to pick up wins at home and try and nick a few more away. We’ve got three wins on the bounce here and I think we’ve deserved them – I thought we were outstanding against Cardiff, we outplayed Blackburn and today, against a Middlesbrough team who have a very strong squad, I thought we deserved to win.”

Ince on the final 10 minutes

“The last 10 minutes, they were throwing balls into the box and we were so tired. I said to Alex - I just need to sit down and calm down. But as it gets later in the game and they’re throwing balls into the box, you can’t help but be animated – it’s in your blood!

“It’s important to see games like this out, win fouls, find the corners. At times we counter-attacked and lost the ball again. We started dropping deep – but when you’re as tired as they were you’re going to make the wrong decisions sometimes, you can make mistakes, get anxious and nervous.

“Today was backs-to-the-wall stuff. I kind of expected it because almost entirely the same 12 or 13 players put in such a shift on Wednesday – so I knew we would tire. But the fans were amazing again, right behind us. There was an atmosphere here and we’ve got to continue that for as long as possible.

“And the effort we put in was incredible. The lads were out on their feet today – but what they’ve got is unity, togetherness and spirit. These players are prepared to work for their teammates. Wednesday was amazing, but today was even better considering the circumstances.”

Ince on Fornah’s goal

“I’m always onto his case because I know he can be a top player. In the last two games, he has been absolutely outstanding. It’s not just about his goal, he’s growing and maturing, and that’s what you want because he’s only 22. He was brilliant - his passing and composure, and he finished it off with a goal. He was immense.”

Ince on Hutchinson

”Hutchinson hasn’t trained and wasn’t going to play so I asked him if he could give me 60 minutes because Guinness-Walker was out with a calf injury, but he gave me an hour so it shows the fight we’ve got in the team.”

Ince on Lucas Joao rumours

“I don’t know why these rumours come up. Since pre-season and even before pre-season when I was in Barbados on holiday there were rumours about him going... but it isn’t happening, that’s it.”