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Ruben Selles: Reading ‘Showed Character’ In Oxford United Draw

The Royals came back from a goal down to seal a 1-1 draw in the local derby.

Eastleigh v Reading - Emirates FA Cup - Second Round - Silverlake Stadium Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

The highly anticipated derby with Oxford United returned for the first time in 20 years with a 1-1 draw at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.

The visitors took the lead through Ciaron Brown but Sam Smith equalised minutes later to secure an important point.

Reading remain 23rd, four points off safety. Here is what manager Ruben Selles had to say; he spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.

Selles on the performance

“It was a competitive team that we played – two teams that wanted to win the game and an equal game from the beginning to the end. We had a good opponent in front of us.

“The environment was very good – they made a spectacular football environment. Our fans supported us from the very beginning. We wanted to give the victory to them. We didn’t, but we played heart and showed character and I’m proud of the effort that the boys put on the pitch.

“We had seven academy players involved this evening, so that’s half of the squad we used. It isn’t the only factor, but I know they have that passion for the club, which helps us today.

“In the way that we are growing and competing, we need to be able to score more goals when we get into those good situations, and be more ruthless in our finishing. We have proved that in those moments when we don’t score, we can concede or need to defend for a period.

“So as much as we can, we need to score that goal to get us in front – and then be robust and focused in our idea.

“We have a very powerful attack – when we went a goal down, we didn’t lose our heads. We were constant in what we did. It was a fantastic ball from Lewis Wing, and a super deep run from an extraordinary finish from Sam.

“We can do it, so we need to do it more often, and to defend those crosses better that are costing us goals.”

Selles on getting a point

“It is difficult – because the opposition wants to win the game too and you have to adapt. Sometimes you get an advantage and sometimes not. We changed a bit of the pressure and we had a bit less of the ball in the second half.

“That’s the game. Inside a game, you play multiple games. That’s all part of it. Maybe three or four weeks ago we would lose this game – we are showing that we can compete and that we have character and that we can defend corner kicks, free-kicks, long-balls like we did today.

“We know it is a learning process and that we are still on it. But we know that we can compete against anyone in this league.”

Selles on Holmes start

“I always say that my reward is for the players working hard and wanting to play as a team. Tom has been outstanding in the last four weeks. He has earned his right to be back in the squad and line-up. I think he is showing the good player that he is and can be. I am very happy for him.”

Selles on Abbey sub

“We have a lot of young players who are playing a big amount of games. Nelson was in his third game in a row, and you could see his fatigue in the second half when we made a couple of mistakes in possession.

“That is one of the reasons we rotated Tyler Bindon, because we know what we have in our hands, and we have to take care of them. I think it was a good change when Nelson had nothing more to offer to the team. When someone is tired another one steps in and does a job. It was no injury, just my decision.”

Selles on Smith performance

“We wanted him to mix between deep runs, for the goal, and getting lower to find him between the two sixes. At some points of the game we went too straight and too long, that’s why he was disconnected.

“We had a massive chance on the left-hand side when Harvey Knibbs was on the counter-attack and he plays to him and we were not able to get three runners there. Sam is a key player and doing great things for us. Some games he only has one action, but he put the ball in the net and that is the important thing.”