The Royals took the short trip to Oxford United for the Thames Valley Derby on Saturday lunchtime. Oxford took the lead in the first half through Mark Harris, but Reading equalised late on with an own goal to secure an important point.
We remain in the relegation zone two points off safety, but teams around us are beginning to pick up points to make our job that bit harder!
Manager Ruben Selles was satisfied with a point but felt that a winner was coming our way. Here is what he had to say; he spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.
Selles on the game
“I think it was a competitive game, both teams had an idea of how they wanted to play the game. First half we had the ball but didn’t find the situations to score. We were a little bit deep with our back line so a lack of compactness allowed them to score the first goal.
“Second half we started well, we upped our level and made substitutions that made an instant impact on the game, and I think we were on top until the end. We will take the point, we came here for the three points and we need to demand ourself to go in with that attitude.
“We always try to activate our players and get the very most out of the game, we changed the wingers’ position to allow Femi to go on the left side and the outside to provide the cross and the same for Paul. It worked for the first five or 10 minutes and then we needed to change again, but this is natural. You have a lot of games inside the same game and you need to know how to read it.
“We still need to work with all those moments in the last third, how to find the perfect pass. The feeling in the environment was that we were ready to score, and as soon as Kelvin, Charlie and Clinton came on the game changed totally with the energy in the last 20/30 minutes - and from then we controlled the game. We just need to work more on creating occasions to score goals.”
Selles on lack of shots
“I think the feeling is that we were there to create more situations. We lacked the clarity in the last pass. The final pass, especially from a cross, never came today. We need to keep working because it is not usual to finish a game with almost no shots on target.
“The opponent prepared in a deep block and didn’t have the high pressure and that makes things difficult, especially when they got the goal in the first half. We need to keep developing that part. We are creating enough situations to get more shots and get something more - we just need the final bit.”
Selles on the impact of the subs
“We know what we have there. The game always has some different games in the same game, so we needed to adjust to the circumstances. We were low in terms of aggression, intensity and forward playing and we needed to make a difference. We know the game is a squad game and that those on the bench would make a difference, so it happened.”
Selles on Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan
“They are doing a great job, everyone. Kelvin had a chance with us when he was playing and getting his minutes, but we changed the system and Sam Smith came into the team.
“He has struggled to get those minutes but as a substitute and times he went onto the pitch in the last month has he has been exceptional and changed the dynamic of the game. Now the next step for him is to do the same when he starts.”
Selles on Elliott
“Ben (Elliott) was brought on for a specific situation as we were losing the duels against their left back. We want to play it more into feet and Ben is a specialist at finding those pockets and finding the ball, he did a very good job and it’s great to have him back.”
Selles on Tom Holmes injury
“It is a bit tricky because he has a partial fracture. It is about mobility and how much he can support playing with the pain. A normal person takes six weeks, but a normal person can take much longer. I don’t know if he will make Stevenage. It is a situation where we are waiting every day.
“It is not a fracture that will need a lot of rest, or we need to stop him, he just needs to get the symptoms of the first days’ pain out of his system and mobility. It is a very unusual injury, but we are taking it daily.”
Selles on away form
“We have been performing well away from home and competing in every game. We can win football matches away; we have shown it. We need to perform like we did today, especially in the last 30 minutes.”
Selles on Stevenage
“I think Steve Evans has done an amazing job there. They have a very clear way of how they want to play and are strong at home. I think it will be a completely different game and we will need to adapt to the game. It will be a very different challenge.
Selles on the fans
“The fans and the players are together, we are working to make them proud. Everyone knows the circumstances we are in and they have been supportive of us throughout the entire season. We need their atmosphere and support for the end of the season.”