The Royals picked up their first three points of the season with a victory against Cardiff City at the SCL Stadium on Saturday. Callum O’Dowda gave the visitors the lead in the fourth minute but the Royals equalised in the 27th minute with a penalty through Shane Long, who started his first game of the season. Tom Ince scored a stunning goal to get our first win of the campaign!
Paul Ince was thrilled with the result, especially coming from behind. He spoke to the official club website, Reading Chronicle and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the victory
“It was thoroughly earned. It was an extension of how we performed in the second half against Blackpool – we took it into today’s game.
“We were by far the better team and created chances… but we didn’t make it easy for ourselves. We gave away silly fouls – I’ve spoken to the team about that – and from that we conceded a goal. But the one thing about this team: they respond. They’ve got a togetherness and spirit to keep going.
“We got the penalty – Curtis Nelson should have been sent off. The ref says Thomas wasn’t going to shoot… which baffles me, as he’s gone around the goalkeeper and he’s got an open goal. And there was a second hand-ball which wasn’t punished.
“So I was disappointed to come in at 1-1 at half-time – we were finding our groove. But I asked the lads: ‘can we have a continuation of this?’ – in football, no two halves are the same. We started well, went on the front foot, and got the winning goal.
“It’s just one win, and it’s nice to get off the mark. There’s 44 games to go, so we won’t get carried away! And we won’t win every game. But if we compete, and the fans see us competing, then we’ll be okay.
“We have to compete in every game, take them as they come, and see where we are at the end of 46 games.”
Ince on the referee not sending off the Cardiff player after the penalty
“It was a disappointing decision by the referee. I don’t know how he thinks that Thomas isn’t going to shoot - it baffles me. It can be easy or hard with 10 men but you have to get the big decisions right. The referee had a good game, but if you miss big decisions, it could have cost us.
“It was the same when Guinness-Walker had a shot and the player handballed it - and nothing is given. The rules baffle me sometimes. These things change games, but in the second half we came out and performed really well.
“It’s a blatant, blatant red. There’s no if or buts about it. He made a mistake. Referees need to be made accountable and if they make a mistake we can live with that if they hold their hands up. The referee was in a great position to spot it.
“It would have been interesting if there was VAR because I can guarantee it would have been a red card. You need them to get these decisions right because they’re so important these big decisions. You could make as many mistakes as you want but the major ones you need to get right. He had a good game apart from that.”
Ince on Tom Ince
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - if you’re a young player at this club and want to watch one player as an example then it’s him. With all his talent - he’s played in the Premier League - but look at his work ethic, what he does for the players, himself and others.
“The desire to do what he does is an example to everyone. It’s not because he is my son, just as a player, to see what he does is amazing. And he got his goal because he has that quality. It was a wonder goal and it was fully deserved.”
Ince on Shane Long
“I’m delighted with Shane because Yak trained on Friday but he was no good so he could be out for two, three or four weeks. So I was wondering how long Shane would last. He’s not even 100 per cent fit yet so to do 80 minutes was amazing.
“You can see he has played in the Premier League - he backs into people, he bumps defenders and his retention of the ball was superb. He is a different striker to what we have got. I was over the moon with him.”
Ince on moving forwards
“This team has a togetherness and we still have the core from last season, and they give you that spirit. It’s pleasing. The fans were brilliant, they were our 12th man. The lads deserved what they got. Last week was disappointing not to get the result, but we got what we deserved.”
Ince on the fans
“We had a great turnout today, and these Reading fans understand the situation. We look at the bench and we’ve got a 17-year-old kid, we’re bringing both Kelvins on… Cardiff are bringing on sub after sub. Our fans understand it – they want to get behind the team, to support them… that’s what they did.
“They’re our 12th man, and they were that today. They very rarely get on the players’ backs; we’ve got a great set of fans. We went 1-0 down, but they were exceptional. And they have been since I’ve got here.
“We know it’s going to be a tough season, and they know that too. But when you put in performances like that… we want our home to be a fortress. We won’t always win games but if we can play like the way we did today, we’ll do well.”