Brian McDermott believes his side have learned from their mistakes in the Barclays Premier League, after a fantastic away victory over Newcastle.
A superb second half performance was enough to secure the Royals' first ever points at St. James’ Park – only the club’s eighth ever away win in the top flight.
"It’s a fantastic win, I don’t know if we’ll get the coach back or fly now – but to be honest I don’t care, I’ll walk home!” said McDermott.
“But I have to say we have such great support – I was really surprised so many of our fans managed to get up here. We were losing games, high scoring games 7-5, 4-3, 3-3 – but we’ve learned from that. We know we’ve got resilience. I personally have learned, our staff have learned, the players have learned – you have to try and manage games at this level. You have to stay in games in this division and we did that at 1-0.”
The manager couldn’t praise his side enough, and acknowledged a number of fabulous individual performances – none more so than match winner Adam Le Fondre.
“Adam is an inspired player for me. He’s got great spirit, he’s a bubbly character – he loves football, loves playing, loves training. he’s just instinctive. A couple of years ago he was playing for Rotherham in League Two and look where he is now. “
Brian also credited the squad's spirit – revealing that Daniel Carrico and Hal Robson-Kanu travelled to watch the win despite not being in the matchday squad.
“All the players are happy. We’ve got a really good spirit within our club. Alfie wants to play all the time, everyone wants to play, we know that. We try to treat all our players with the utmost respect. The ones that travelled with us today, the ones that have travelled and weren’t in the 18 – it’s all about the group.”
Last, but by no means least – there was a deserved tribute to Adam Federici, who pulled off a number of stunning first half saves.
“Adam Federici has a fantastic story. Our boys know that. He made a couple of really good saves, I just said that to him now and acknowledged that. When you come to a place like Newcastle you need your goalkeeper to perform well. He’s produced saves in the first half that are match winning saves.”