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Paul Ince On Reading’s Late Win Over Rotherham United

Ince had a late, substitute-inspired win to discuss on Tuesday night.

Reading v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Reading got back to winning ways at the Select Car Leasing Stadium after coming from behind to pick up an important three points. Visitors Rotherham United took the lead in the first half for Reading to go into the break 1-0 down. Andy Carroll equalised for the Royals in the 52nd minute before Tyrese Fornah scored the winner in the 90th minute.

Reading now sit 13th, six points off the play-offs and 12 points off the relegation area. Here is what manager Paul Ince had to say; he spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.

Ince on the performance

“In the first half we looked tired. We had a long journey on Saturday and then playing again on the Tuesday night, it’s not easy to get yourself going. It’s not easy playing against Rotherham, because you can get sucked into playing their way and we couldn’t keep hold of the ball – but we have to understand what these players are putting into every game. And they’ve played a lot of games.

“We actually started the game quite well, passing the ball well. We gave a silly free-kick away and then we don’t stay with our marker, a nothing goal and we come in 1-0 down at half-time.

“And then the crowd got agitated, we got agitated – and you could sense panic in the stadium, we were misplacing passes.

“But at half-time I knew we had to have a go at them. So we changed the system, went 4-2-3-1 and sparked it up a bit with some young blood and the substitutes had an impact. You see the likes of Nesta, Ty and Femi in training saying ‘gaffer, look at me, look at me, I’m ready to come in’. And that’s what subs are all about – they are fighting for their place and if they make an impact when they come in then it makes me think for the next game.

“And we looked like we can play in that shape – we still looked a bit edgy at the back for certain, but when you’ve got Thomas and Femi, natural wingers, it can put the opposition on the back foot if you can play them higher up the pitch. So it’s good to know we can switch to that shape if we need to in games.

“I’m pleased for Ty. When he came on, he looked a little bit slow and he missed a tackle in there. So I pulled him to one side and said, ‘come on, you’ve got to be better than that. I thought you were from East London like me… so show me the Dagenham in you! And I’m pleased he got his goal.

“Once we got the first goal, that’s when the fans came alive. And we have to stick together, that’s important.

“It’s a tough season for us this season, we’re under embargo and we just have to stay in this league.

“Our home form is very good, but it’s important to pick up points away as well. And we’ve got to keep accumulating points, where we can. Because we’ve got some tough games coming up.”

Ince on Andy Carroll and Femi Azeez

“It was a wonderful header (by Carroll) and a wonderful set-piece by Azeez because if he can get it right and see Carroll coming for it, you just know he’s going to win it. It was a fantastic header.

“I keep telling him because sometimes he goes too far past the back post - he’s too wide of the goal and needs to work in between the two posts because he frightens the life out of people.

“After getting the equaliser - I want to go and win it but I also don’t want to lose it. I did that against Preston so to win it in the 90th minute is always a bonus.”

Ince on being unchanged

“If we keep chopping and changing, we’ll never get any continuity. Arteta has played more or less the same side all season and they (Arsenal) are top of the table so you’re not going to get any consistency if you keep chopping and changing.

“It doesn’t work like that. We were okay at Sunderland - we made a mistake, it cost us a point. The players did their job, so why keep chopping and changing? It doesn’t make sense. But now there is people knocking on the door. People like Fornah are now saying look at me and that’s what competition is all about.”