After a disappointing defeat in the week, the Royals headed up to Wigan with Andy Carroll on the subs bench, but it was Tom Ince who would take the headlines. Ince scored a beautiful free kick to give Reading all three points at the DW Stadium to take them back to third in the Championship.
After every defeat this season, the Royals have responded with a victory, and Paul Ince was pleased with the response his players put in after the midweek display. He spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.
Ince on the victory
“After Wednesday night, I said to the players that we needed to have a response. We seem to do that – when we have not played well, we seem to be able to get a reaction from the players. It doesn’t always mean we’ll get the right result, but we ask for a reaction.
“And it was a performance full of passion – we looked solid, structured and there were people putting their heads in there to win the ball. It was a battle to earn the right to play. And we battled and battled.
“We did a lot of homework on Wigan in a very short space of time – so we knew what to expect. At the back we dealt with what they threw at us. It was a real ‘backs to the wall’ performance towards the end. And we’ve been there before, at Millwall for example. It looks like we know how to handle that.
“We got a bit fortunate; they’ve hit the post and they’ve hit one over the bar – but we’ve had two absolute sitters. Thomas should score with a header and Yak should score in a one-on-one. We weren’t ruthless enough.
“So again, as much as I’m pleased with the result, I’m not happy with the fact that we still don’t kill teams off. And those chances would have killed them off. Instead, we could have paid for it at the end.
“That result could have been completely different. If we’d scored our chances, it would have been comfortable. If we don’t and they score their chances we could be coming away wondering how we have drawn or lost the game.
“When teams are putting balls into our box, we’ve got to learn to not get deep, but to put pressure on the people putting the balls in. When you’ve got 10 or 15 players in there, the ball can drop to anyone so we’ve got to learn to play higher and stop them from doing that. I don’t want us to keep seeing games out. I want us to kill it when we get the opportunity.
“But that takes time. And we’re still learning, developing, still growing as a team. And when we had to defend, we did. When we broke away we needed to be more clinical, because sometimes you get punished for not putting your chances away and you don’t get away with it.
“I’m happy though. It's important that you go into a two-week international break on a high. If you lose the game, then you don’t see your players for two or three days, it plays on your mind. So I’m chuffed that I can go and have a few days off knowing we have three points in the bag. It’s a nice feeling.
“And our fans have come a long way today, it will have taken them three or four or more hours to get here. And it’s great to send them back down the motorway with a performance and three more points.”
Ince on having a stronger squad after the international break
"In the next two weeks we’ll probably have Ovie back, Naby back and Andy Carroll will be fitter, Shane Long we will have to see.
"I’m delighted. We’ve got people coming back which will take two weeks, Andy Carroll is doing some running so another week or two weeks before he’s ready. This is a well-earned rest for the players. We’ve got 10 games with more or less the same players every game, and that takes some doing. You can understand that they get tired and start to drop back. What these players have achieved has been amazing, so they need a well-earned rest."