After the 4-0 drubbing at Sheffield United last Tuesday, a reaction was a necessity against Stoke City. Sheffield United will do that to a lot of teams this season and they are not our fight this season, but conceding four always stings and you always want to see a reaction.
And a reaction is what we got. From the get-go the team were full of the energy and spirit we’ve become used for the vast majority of this season. Defensively sound, full of running and fighting for one another.
And we got our rewards. A Lucas Joao double, with his goals coming either side of a Stoke equaliser, were the difference.
Here’s how the fans reacted to some the key talking points...
Not bad for a lazy striker, eh?
On Tuesday against the Blades he was a talking point for all the wrong reasons, but this time it’s for all the right reasons.
He came in for a fair whack of criticism after his showing against Sheffield United, but I think he’s now once again proved that selling him or cashing in would nothing short of a ludicrous.
From zero to hero...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LUCAS JOAO YOU LEGEND #READINGFC— TKDuval (@TkDuval) September 4, 2022
Prime example today why you have Joao in the team #ReadingFC— Tony Dempster (@DempsterTony) September 4, 2022
Joao is so bloody good at this level. Absurd that people wanted to flog him #readingfc— Alex (@alex_1871_) September 4, 2022
Joao is Vital to #readingfc— Olly_URZ (@OllyURZ) September 4, 2022
Massive lol at the “sell Joao he’s lazy” crew…— Kyle Froomes (@KyleFroomes) September 4, 2022
Bloke can be as lazy as he wants if he keeps scoring goals #readingfc
Classic Joao, last game was useless, no movement, lazy….. this week, first chance and he scores. #ReadingFC #Urzz— Matt Glaysher (@GlaysherMatt) September 4, 2022
And that is why you don’t sell Lucas Joao #readingfc— Nick Houlton (@Houlton11) September 4, 2022
I just really, really, really love him. And so do all of you by the looks of it, and why wouldn’t we?
I genuinely cannot remember another Reading player who runs as much as Ince Jr, which is a very, very good answer to any questions he may get about him being in the team because his dad’s the gaffer.
He had another really good game and is clearly the leader on the pitch in terms of mentality, and the fans love it...
What a player Tom Ince is! Never stops running and gives 110% #superb #readingfc— KatieR (@KATEROYAL68) September 4, 2022
Tom Ince is just a breath of fresh air isn’t he, these clips are both in stoppage time where we’re holding on for the 3 points. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/qbkvHEdIei— George (@1871_GS) September 4, 2022
Tom Ince has been a revelation for us. His work rate is phenomenal and he's got the quality to go along with it. Class player #readingfc— AidenRFC (@AidenRFC_) September 4, 2022
Tom Ince POTS so far, what a signing. Runs his socks off every game. What a player ⚪️ #readingfc— Joshua Lamb (@lambeyyy1871) September 4, 2022
Tom Ince will be player of the season, what a shift today #readingfc— Jack (@jackgleeson5) September 4, 2022
Tom Ince this season #readingfc pic.twitter.com/wIRpzmbpmS— Alex (@alexshepherdd) September 4, 2022
Why on earth did #SCFC let Tom Ince go on a free btw? What a player. #readingfc— Royals 360 (@Royals_360) September 4, 2022
Who’d have thought after eight games of the season we’d be one of four teams in the EFL with a 100% home record? Not me, that’s for sure. And I’m sure I’m not alone in that boat.
Our home form will be imperative this season and we’ve already made it a fortress. We need to make the SCL a tough place to come. For too long it’s been an easy game for other teams, but that’s not been the case this season.
The fans are loving going to home games so far, and who can blame them?
100% home record intact.— Ben Warden (@WBWarden) September 4, 2022
The Select Car Leasing stadium is a fortress. It's a 4x4-tress.#readingfc
4 wins from 4 at home! When did we last have that sort of form! #readingfc #FortessSCL— BerkshireBoys (@BerkshireBoys_) September 4, 2022
Another great home performance from the boys today.— Tom (@Rfctomo) September 4, 2022
Ince puts in such a great shift week and week out. #readingfc
Another huge home win and 3 points, This team has some bouncebackability! #FortressSCL #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) September 4, 2022
Paul Ince Barmy Army.. another home win! We are slowly making the SCL stadium a tough place to come once more. #readingfc— Dan Green (@dan_green_) September 4, 2022
This home form #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) September 4, 2022
When’s last time we won 4 home games on bounce then? Superb again today #readingfc— Luke Thurlow (@luke_1871) September 4, 2022
Another seriously fantastic result. To have this ability to bounce back after bad defeats is so, so important - and will be for the rest of this season. Of course, prevention is better than a cure but we would be naive to say we won’t have a few heavy losses this season.
Onwards and upwards from here. Next up a little trip to Vicarage Road...