All you have to do to understand how much this team has improved in recent times is this: compare the performance from the game against Charlton Athletic earlier in the season to the one on Saturday afternoon.
The team that lost 4-0 at The Valley was one devoid of any confidence or quality, who could hardly score a goal let alone win a game. This team now is one full of confidence, and one that knows how to get results.
It was another really, really big win - in a run of games that you feel could define our season. Here’s how the fans reacted...
Another huge win
I really don’t want to get ahead of myself, because we’ve had false dawns like this before, but this team are really starting to look like they’ve turned a corner.
There was only really one team that every looked like winning on Saturday, and it wasn't the visitors.
It’s now one loss in 12 games, and we’re finally starting to turn draws into wins. The fans are excited with what they’re seeing...
biggest win of the season imo— Gavin Smith (@gavpsmith) February 10, 2024
big pressure to back that win up midweek and create that little gap from the bottom 4 #readingfc
Another great win and a really good week for us. Great fight from the players #readingfc— Dom (@domwindle) February 10, 2024
New manager bounce ❌️— Dai Yongge Out (@SirthomasVIII) February 10, 2024
Incredible win now onto Fleetwood, gonna be very tough. #readingfc
Anyone else falling in love with Reading again— Reece Palmer (@Reeceyboi147) February 10, 2024
Good and comfortable win today, two cracking goals. Mbengue way more comfortable in a more natural position, pleased for him. Bindon a rock lately after wobbly form. Yiadom, Wing, Kelvin, Smith all good & Savage really good, his best game for us today #Readingfc— Nick Houlton (@Houlton11) February 10, 2024
Great win & real chance to make it 3 on the spin on Tues.— Paul Williams (@PaulFrankfurt71) February 10, 2024
Small but great bonus, Abrefa getting some mins at the end. Would have been great to throw Wareham on for a League debut to bit think that will come soon enough.#readingfc
Azeez had a pretty tough first few months of the season, like most of his team mates to be fair. But he probably became a bit of a scapegoat, as some players just have to knack of doing unfortunately.
But now there is no debating his importance to this team. He’s a match-winner at this level, the kind of player who can pop up with a moments of quality that other players can’t. He may still be frustrating at times, but Saturday shows it was vital we kept hold of him in January.
The fans certainly love him after Saturday’s performance...
Comfortable victory. Charlton never really looked like they were going to threaten.— Lewis Radbourne (@lewisradbourne1) February 10, 2024
Femi Azeez #readingfc
Femi Azeez is my hero! UP THE DING! #ReadingFC— Jessica Charman (@JessTalksFootie) February 10, 2024
He’s been a fans’ favourite since he walked through the door really, but in the last few games it’s gone to another level.
I have to say I was a bit nervous when Ruben Selles decided to play Mbengue alongside Tyler Bindon in a back four when Tom Holmes got injured, but it’s worked an absolute treat.
Not only has he been really impressive defensively, his long throws have also caused havoc, with our last three goals now all coming from them. Another really strong showing had the fans purring after the game...
I didn't say this in the vlog coming tomorrow but I have to say: Amadou Mbengue's command in defence today was brilliant.— Mark Talks Football (@MarkTalksSport) February 10, 2024
he deserves all the credit he is getting. #Readingfc
#Readingfc we may not score many from crosses...but hey who needs crosses when we have Mbengue— Sue Symes (@suemsymes02) February 10, 2024
Mbengue back to back clean sheets and arguably 3 assists? #readingfc— Pipey (@matt11p) February 10, 2024
Mbengue what a character so erratic but can’t help but love him.— Callum Harper (@CallumHarp8426) February 10, 2024
This group of players care.#readingfc
Great interview, top player and a seriously top guy! Love the passion and the desire to succeed!— Nigel Budd (@BuddNigel) February 10, 2024
I actually love him so much— NKDING43 (@NKDING43) February 10, 2024
It’s probably the most optimistic I’ve been about Reading in a very, very long time. That doesn’t mean I’m adamant we’re going to stay up and everything is going to be okay, far from it.
But it’s just so nice and reassuring to have a team that a) genuinely cares, b) are starting to show some kind of identity tactically and c) know how to get results.