Bloody hell. Where did that come from?
164 days since our last win in any competition, a team with the average age of a tad over 21 went to The Den, played a full-strength Millwall team and romped to a wonderful (and fully deserved) 4-0 win.
Prior to the game, I think every fan and their dog was expecting a loss, and on the whole would’ve been okay with that. But to put in the performance we did, and get that kind of result, was a delightful surprise.
The fans were in an understandably joyful mood. Here’s how they reacted.
I was going to pick out one or two players for particular praise, but I just don’t think that’s fair. Every single player stood up and proved their worth to their manager and this squad.
Nelson Abbey captaining, Tyler Bindon on his debut, Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan bagging two, Caylan Vickers a nuisance again, Tivonge Rushesha tenacious, the list could go on and on and on.
They were all brilliant, and for so many of them to be from the academy is just the cherry on top. The fans loved what they saw...
#Readingfc Great result, great performance. There's some real talent at this club and it just goes to show that we need to bring it through and build a team of young hungry players— drawn2water73 (@drawn2water73) August 9, 2023
How good does it feel to actually batter another team for once, young players showing they are ready to fight for a place in the first team, absolute unbelievable result #readingfc https://t.co/y5ARR870r9— Reece Palmer (@Reeceyboi147) August 8, 2023
Should be a great confidence booster ahead of the weekend. Thanks to the young lads for making us proud again ❤️ #readingfc— Rob Nutley (@Rnutley) August 8, 2023
That was EXCELLENT Every player did themselves proud and everyone gave 110% at all times. Can’t believe that result, the new Reading are class. Our senior players need to step up as our academy players are here to make a difference and show their worth. UNREAL ⚪️ #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) August 8, 2023
The passion and desire shown by our squad last night easily the best thing about that win & performance. So reassuring to see clear evidence of a team that actually care and work hard for eachother. Been missing that for years. #readingfc— Jake (@JakeMoorePR) August 9, 2023
I've just watched highlights video from #readingfc youngsters in their 4-0 away win at Millwall. The lads were like a swarm of worker bees. It's a few years since we have seen that level of effort from the Royals. Great watching & what a performance. Keep it up. Seniors worried?— Sir Dodger Royal (@SirDodgerRoyal) August 9, 2023
I think we’ve already all fallen in love with him, haven’t we?
In all seriousness it is so refreshing to see a manager not only play young players, but also urge them to show bravery, courage and freedom when they do play. It is such a far cry from what we became used to under his predecessor.
We have an identity, a way we want to be playing and a manager who can get his players buying into all of that. What a bloke.
The fans already love him...
Still people out there that think Selles isn’t the right man at the wheel? Results irrelevant at this stage but it’s becoming very clear that he has a vision, drive and desire that a more ‘experienced’ gaffer may not and the players are certainly buying into it. #readingfc— UTFD! (@UTD1871) August 8, 2023
Ruben Sells has literally show what the young players can do in 90 minutes than Paul Ince ever did in his 14 months in charge. Good on you and more of the same #readingfc— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) August 8, 2023
Given our squad depth, or lack of, Sellès could’ve easily gone for a full youth team and accepted heading out the cup. But he’s started vital first team players, brought two others on at HT and more during the game. We’re building something…— Ed Ryding (@EdRyding) August 8, 2023
Trust in Ruben #readingfc pic.twitter.com/9iGdxGsyIF
A win, at last
Our last win came on February 25 at home to Blackpool. Our last away win came in the final game before the World Cup at Hull City. It’s been a long, long time coming.
You can already tell it’s given the entire club a huge lift and new lease of life almost. We’ve endured a torrid few months; it feels like a bit of a turning point for us.
After being starved of a win for so long, the fans feasted in their joy at such an impressive result...
when was the last time we had a blowout win with a clean sheet? #readingfc— Ali (@alibrown_29) August 8, 2023
What a great feeling it is to win a game.— Richard (Dougal) (@F8RDR) August 8, 2023
Managers first win ✅
Clean sheet ✅
Largely new squad (avg age 20.7 at kick off) ✅
Giant Killing (Division above) ✅
Scored 4️⃣ goals ✅
Unbelievable #readingfc ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
First win since February. What a what to win, what a performance. That winning feeling feels nice. Can’t wait for Saturday #readingfc— Joshua Lamb (@lambeyyy1871) August 8, 2023
READING CLUB DE FUTBOL HAVE WON A GAME OF FOOTBALL.— Joe (@iJC106) August 8, 2023
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE FEBRUARY 25TH.
FIRST AWAY WIN SINCE NOVEMBER 2022 BEFORE THE WORLD CUP.
I DON'T CARE IF IT'S THE ENERGY DRINK CUP. WE ARE COOKING #READINGFC
#readingfc Our last away win was 12th November 2022. Just sayin'— Mike (@MikePea73444529) August 8, 2023
Are we going to win a game?! I’ve forgotten what this feels like this, get in #readingfc— Carys (@Caryslee99) August 8, 2023
Almost the perfect evening really. I say almost because I in fact wasn’t there, which really stings considering I haven’t seen Reading win in person since October 1 2022.
From minute one (literally) to minute 90+ whatever it turned out to be in the end, we deserved that win. As the club’s Twitter admin put it so beautifully after the game, Reading’s lambs went to the Lion’s Den and put them to the slaughter.
Onwards to Port Vale. URZ.