The Royals got another point on the board with a 1-1 draw away from home against Lincoln City on Saturday.
The home side took the lead early on but Harvey Knibbs equalised in the second half to share the points. Manager Ruben Selles was sent off in the 67th minute, so lead first-team coach James Oliver-Pearce faced the media and admitted there is still work to be done. He spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.
Oliver-Pearce on the game
“It’s disappointing. We felt like we were in control for long periods of that game.
“We know we didn’t start the game well enough and we concede a goal through a slow start, but the reaction to that from the group as a whole was really impressive.
“They really did dominate in territory, in chances, I don’t think [Lincoln] actually had a shot on target despite the goal because obviously it is an own goal. The performance was there and we just need to focus on that.
“We have picked up our form in the last five games with just one defeat, the lads are working really hard and the performances are starting to grow.
“We know in the last three games we have played teams in and around the play-offs at various points, the challenge point has been high and the lads have shown what they are capable of doing.
“We can leave all three of those games feeling like we could have got more from all of them.
“So we just need to keep growing, focus on the performance and focus on how we can turn those situations into chances and goals, and actually kill teams off.
“We saw it on the journey up and at the hotel overnight that the togetherness is really there. That is what some results can do, it can give you confidence as a group.
“We just need to make sure that we take that and we keep pushing ourselves and pushing the standards that we expect to turn these draws into three points and keeping on an upward trajectory.”
Oliver-Pearce on taking over after Selles was sent off
“First of all, I have got all the staff with me so it is not just me there, I have got the support of all of the backroom team that I work with everyday.
“That is probably why we felt like we don’t want to make too many changes because we felt the players that were on the pitch had the momentum of the fixture.
“It was a joint effort to make sure we got over the line, everyone was particularly animated because we know how much it means to at least get away from here with a point,
“If you are at that stage you can’t win it you definitely can’t lose it, and it is important to keep putting points on the board and that is what we did.
“We felt like we should have been at least, or properly ahead at half-time.
“The first disallowed goal we have our own views on, but those things happen.
“If you are in that position and you are not performing it would be a concern but if you are performing it’s a case of making sure you are raising your level and eventually one will go in for you.
“The left-side link-up is something we have been busy with because our right side has been particularly fluid and we know we have got some quality down both sides of the pitch.
“It was a really good bit of build-up, Paul Mukairu rolls inside a ball round the corner and Jeriel rolls a perfectly weighted pass for Harvey who constantly makes run like that, this time he was found and he added the finishing touch.”
Oliver-Pearce on Harvey Knibbs’ goal
“The build-up to it was good. Paul [Mukariu] rolled inside and managed to flick around the corner. Jeriel managed to find the ball to Harvey. That is what we’ve been talking about when we used a slightly different system for the forward runs - we’ve looked for the wide areas and how we can access them better - Harvey took the goal really well. I’m pleased for Jeriel and Harvey, but ultimately pleased for the team.”
Oliver-Pearce on Dorsett substitution
“That was just a really late tackle. He felt that someone had gone over the top on his ankle. With the game as it was, if we weren’t going to win it we didn’t want to lose it with our full-backs being so dynamic. If Amadou is going to get forward, at least he had the legs to get back and track the runners.”
Oliver-Pearce on changing form
“We needed to build momentum and the two victories against Wycombe and Carlisle helped with that. I thought against Barnsley we played pretty well for a long period, but the game got too open for us and it was something we tried to address.
“The Oxford game, a good first half and we know the second half we wanted to be better. Today, we handled the ball well for 65-70 minutes but then it got a bit open. We should win the game today.”
Oliver-Pearce on Selles’ sending-off
“It is just an impulsive reaction. They’ve got a player running to take a throw-in and he has tried to delay the restart. He has apologised to the dressing room, that was the first thing he did, and he doesn’t want to let the team down.
“It was just an impulsive reaction to try and help the team from defending a quick throw. I was not aware of that as a rule. I didn’t know that if it is the manager that does it it is a red card, but one of us I don’t think it is. I don’t know why it’s one rule for one and one for others but those are the laws of the game.”
Oliver-Pearce on a rare free midweek with no fixtures
“We need it with the schedule we have got coming up, and it is a chance to make sure our bodies are recovering and getting rejuvenated again.
“But it also allows us to work on some of the areas we know we need to improve, especially the final third to make sure the chances we are creating and the situations we are creating turn into goals.
“Every game is difficult for us and we have to go into this period with the right mindset.
“We know we need to use the entire squad in this period because there are four fixtures in a really congested period, but it is the same for everyone.
“The lads work really hard in training all year round for times like this, so how they manage their bodies and how they prepare will be massive for us.
“We will approach Wigan like we try and do for every game, do our homework on them and try and make sure we can get the result for us and the fans.”