Brian McDermott was happy to finish our pre-season friendly schedule with both a win and a positive performance.
His team were the driving force for the vast majority of their 2-0 win against Crystal Palace; Pavel Pogrebnyak and Adam Le Fondre finding the net early in the second half. It could have been more as Reading played some good football, getting the ball wide and ending pre-season on a positive note.
With Pogrebnyak scoring, Danny Guthrie named man of the match, Garath McCleary impressing and Chris Gunter back from injury it was also a good day for a number of new signings.
Brian said, "I'm a lot happier now, in the Brighton game in midweek we had a good shape and today in the second half we played some decent football as well. We've got to where we needed to be as far as performance is concerned, especially after the break when we raised it, got good service to the wide players and they delivered, so too the strikers and midfielders. We kept a clean sheet too, so we're ready to go.
"The first half was a little bit low tempo for us, we have to be on the move, high tempo and passing it. We did that second half, got in behind them, scored a couple of goals so we're happy with that to finish off pre-season."
On our impressive new faces he said, "I've been delighted with all the new signings since we've brought them to the club. They're all good guys who work hard and want to get better. They've got undoubted quality, and add that to their desire you've got a good recipe. We're just trying to gel the group, we've got two players for each position which is what I wanted of course."
Our new number 7 Pogrebnyak will have been pleased to hit the back of the net, and Brian added, "It's important to get your first goal. He was unlucky first half, made a great run and Danny Guthrie played him in but he was unfortunate just to knock it over. We'll save them for the League though. Both strikers worked really hard, and we got Noel and Churchy some game time as well, it's important to get people on the pitch."
Now everyone looks ahead to the first game back in the Barclays Premier League in just a few days' time, and Brian is very relaxed about the prospect. "When the time comes, we will be ready, that's the most important thing. Hopefully everyone will be OK in terms of fitness, Jimmy won't be obviously, apart from that we're hopeful.
"We'll prepare right, it's an international break of course as well. We'll look at Stoke, I know Tony Pulis quite well, he's done a phenomenal job and we know it'll be a good game. We're at home, it'll be a full house, back in the Barclays Premier League, just a fantastic place to be."
Both goals from the Palace game
are on Reading FC Player now, as well as a full post-match video interview