The Royals picked up a huge three points against Blackpool with a 3-1 victory at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Saturday.
A brace by Tom Ince and a penalty by Andy Carroll secured an important win to leave Reading 14th in the Championship table. It wasn’t the perfect day though as we couldn’t keep a clean sheet, with Sonny Carey scoring for the visitors in the 94th minute.
Paul Ince knew it was a big result but said there was some disappointment with conceding late on. Here is what he had to say - he spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the victory
“My defenders and my goalkeeper are fuming in there. Defenders and goalkeepers like to keep clean sheets and to concede in the last minute is very disappointing for them. That could be 0-0 and we could be conceding a goal that costs us – it happened at Sunderland and it happened at Cardiff. My defenders don’t like that.
“But overall, it was a pleasing performance and a good result. We were a bit slow out of the blocks and we could have been 1-0 down. But then we passed the ball very well with a change of shape, created chances to score two or three goals, but it was only 1-0 at the break when we could have killed the game off.
“No two halves are the same with us. The second half we started defending deep again and invited Blackpool onto us, we stopped doing the things that made us very, very good in the first half. And credit to Blackpool, they dug in and caused us problems at the start of the second half.
“But once we got the penalty, it was the first time in a while when I’ve been able to breathe, think that’s the three points and I could start thinking about Middlesbrough away.
“There was a lot of pressure on us today. Because we were playing Blackpool, a team who are fighting for their lives to stay in the league, and the expectation was on us to win the game today.
“So there was pressure on these players to go and perform. And that’s not always easy – they can often be the hardest games. Subconsciously we all knew that, so that makes the performance even more pleasing.
“We’re a little bit closer to that 50-point mark and that has always been the first target. We took a good step towards that today and that is why today was a big, big result for us.
“I’m not normally pleased, but today I’m pleased for once. Our home form has been really, really good – which is not bad for a misfit team, put together with what we’ve been able to do this season.
“But it’s tough in the Championship. We have to keep fighting, fighting, fighting. Our performance at Cardiff was so poor and today was about bouncing back – we’ve done that a number of times now and we did it again today.
“I’ve got a team who always wants to fight for me. This bunch don’t down tools - they will always fight for you.
“And the fans today really got behind us… the kids in here today, they can come every week – because every time they do… we win!”
Ince on Yakou Meite
“The second goal was very good. I thought Yak was outstanding on the right berth. He flies past people. He was back to his best, and once we got the penalty it was pretty comfortable. With Yak, it’s not just about going forward but defensively- especially in a 4-3-3. You need to get back and defend, which he did very well.
“You could see he was getting tired at the end, but if you get him one-versus-one he will cause anyone problems. I was really pleased with Yak because he hasn’t played for three or four weeks.”
Ince on Cesare Casadei
“I was really pleased with Ces [Casadei]. He came back in again. When you come from a different country, particularly Italy, the tempo was a lot different to Championship football. He needed a couple of weeks training to get into that tempo and you saw that today on the pitch. He’s getting there. You sit there and wish he was our player, but he has to go back to Chelsea. He did really well and will get better and better.”
Ince on expectation
“It was probably the first time I felt that the expectation was to win. That’s not something you associate with Reading. Sometimes when you play the bottom teams they can be the hardest games because everyone expects you to win. It doesn’t always work like that; they’re fighting for their lives. The fact that subconsciously we all knew that and still put in the performance that we did, I’m very pleased.”
Ince on demanding a reaction
“I was really disappointed against Cardiff last week and it was about getting the bounce back. We’ve done it a few times this year where we’ve been poor and bounced back - today was one of those days. I’ve said to them that if you’re at it, you give yourselves a chance. Looking at today, we had four or five players out.”