It was so, so important to wipe Wednesday night from the memory as soon as possible - and the best way to do that was winning at Wigan. It’s been mentioned before, but this team has made a handy knack of responding well to bad defeats, and we saw that yet again on Saturday.
It was by no means a straightforward victory - it rarely is with Reading - but it was a hard-fought one - as it usually is with Reading. We could’ve and should’ve put the game to bed in the second half, but a brilliant free kick from Ince Jr secured the +3.
The fans were in a much better mood after this game than they were in midweek, and there were plenty of positive talking points...
I think if the season ended today and we had to pick a player of the season, the results would be pretty unanimous. Ince Jr has been superb so far this campaign.
The main reason he's been so impressive is his work rate. It’s been said before but I can’t remember another Reading player from recent times who works harder than him. If there could be any criticism it’s that we need to see more moments of quality from him in the final third - like the free kick that won us the game on Saturday.
It was a pearler of a free kick and one worthy of winning many games. It’s fair to say that Tom has quickly become a fans favourite...
Also we can just skip player of the season voting this season because Thomas Ince wins #readingfc— Cameron (@ronniemac93) September 17, 2022
What an outrageously good day that was. Thank you Thomas Christopher Ince. #readingfc— Trenchy (@AdamHumphries96) September 17, 2022
It’s the age-old cliche isn’t it, but it’s not about how you fall, it’s about how you get back up. And this team have the mentality and spirit to pick themselves up well after defeats.
Of course, you’d rather not have performances like Wednesday at all. But being able to wipe them from your memory as quickly as this team seems to be able too is a sign of a strong minded group of players.
Once again they bounced back, and the fans were quick to praise them...
Get in!! Huge win!! Once again we have reacted after a terrible performance in midweek! Get in boys!! 3rd place after 10 games is incredible! happy Saturdays! #ReadingFC— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) September 17, 2022
Huge win that! Exactly the sort of game we need to be grinding out and they have. Big 3 points! #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) September 17, 2022
Everything about this season is resembling 2011/12 under McDermott. What we’ve missed the last few years, almost as far back as that season is the right mentality. Many of our wins this season we’d have lost in recent years. The forged summer clear out was essential. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/TI4BHXMyGA— Ed Ryding (@EdRyding) September 18, 2022
Most important bounce back result to date for me. After the other 2 thrashings, we had a home game to recover in. This time away, at a side who had only lost once all season, shows this team is capable of surprising. Big result.— Paul Williams (@PaulFrankfurt71) September 17, 2022
Now to follow it up v Huddersfield #readingfc
Bounce back we could, well done lads, we always respond to a defeat which is a good sign, 18 points after 10 games, great start to the season. #wedontdodraws #readingfc #uptheding https://t.co/JJnR1M5Wq8— Simon Edwards (@Madstad109) September 17, 2022
Very heartened by #readingfc's ability to now consistently bounce back very well from poor results and that's testament to the battling qualities and spirit that Ince has managed to install in a stronger group of players. Keep that up and they will be more than fine this season.— George Flood (@GeorgeFlood24) September 17, 2022
It wasn’t just matters on the pitch that caught the eye on Saturday. For far too long we’ve rightly criticised the owners and the people at the top of the club for being detached and disenfranchised with the fans.
Well, someone must’ve had a word with Dai over the summer because he's been a lot more visible recently, so visible in fact that he joined fans at the pub on Saturday. Seeing the pictures of fans with Dai was great, it’s exactly the kind of thing that connects the fans to the club.
The fans were loving it too. I mean, it’s not often you see your billionaire owner in the away pub at Wigan is it?
Don’t see many other owners taking a photo with fans outside an Asda in Wigan. Sir Dai URZZZ pic.twitter.com/tg87Niuy9c— Deano (@deanocx) September 17, 2022
Without doing any press interview or making a big scene. The owners have listened to the fans and stepped into places they know that will expose them to the fans. I am loving all the photos with Mr Dai today. #readingfc— Cameron (@ronniemac93) September 17, 2022
A brilliant way to finish a brilliant start to the season. Sitting third in the Championship at the first international break is a lot, lot better than any of us could’ve imagined. Long may it continue.