The Royals continued their excellent run of form with a 2-0 victory against fellow strugglers Charlton Athletic at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Saturday. Femi Azeez picked up a brace with two second-half goals to secure the three points.
Reading are unbeaten in their last five games, and are now 18th in League One, three points off the relegation area. With another important game on Tuesday against Fleetwood Town, every point gets us further away from the drop zone.
Here is what manager Ruben Selles had to say after the game - he spoke to the Reading Chronicle.
Selles on Charlton win
“I think it is a difficult game when a club changes their manager during the week because we knew the characteristics of Nathan, but you are never sure if it is going to go that way. We expected 5-3-2 and very front-footed with direct balls into the space.
“It took us 10-12 minutes to set the game and start to play with the ball down in possession. After that, the team was powerful and we had ideas of what we wanted to do, finding the full-backs inside and being aggressive in the locking and defending high because it doesn’t give them time to set up the long ball and second action properly. During the entire game, we were on top of the game.”
Selles on the refereeing performance
“A couple of months ago I learnt that I shouldn’t do anything about the referees and I’m not going to it today so I’m neither one side nor another. The performance of the team was above anything today and I would prefer to focus on that.”
Selles on long throws
“Sometimes you don’t score for 10 games when you get those situations. I think he is a quick learner and is getting better, improving around five metres in his throwing. The throw is just a header in the duel and more central in the box and it leads to the second action that we need to be ready to score.
“I think Femi was there in the action, making the proper movement. We had another way to get into our game and we our using it. if we cannot score in open play or not finishing then we have that. We had a couple of corners and free-kicks where we are dangerous, so I think the team is growing and developing in set plays.”
Selles on consecutive clean sheets
“The clean sheet comes from the performance, and the performance comes with a clear idea and identity. I am not going to work with a team that defends lower and waits to make clearances and transitions: we need to press higher and keep the line higher and keep the possession away from our goal. The more we have the ball the less they have chances to score. The clean sheet is a result of a lot of things.”
Selles on Tom Holmes’ injury
“He has been with Luton for a couple of days now being assessed by the specialist there. It is between four and six weeks so we need to wait but I don’t think he will be there before the end of the month.”
Selles on Nathan Jones
“We knew the way that he prefers to play and we knew how the team can set. You always have the doubt because it depends on the players you have in but we knew they would be aggressive and front-footed, playing the first or second pass into the space for the two runners with two strikers and two eights arriving into the position.
“Quick into the wing-backs to deliver the cross and it is always a very dynamic team. You need to be very calm in possession if you want to perform against his teams. Charlton is a good team and Nathan is a good coach. They will get some results between now and the end of the season.”