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'Fans the difference'

PUBLISHED

09:00 14th January 2013

Brian, Jobi and Alfie credit supporters

It's fair to say that the atmosphere inside Madejski Stadium shortly before 5pm on Saturday was simply remarkable. Enough to tell you that something equally extraordinary had happened on the pitch.

Hearts in mouths, completely lost voices, ear drums quaking - the metaphorical roof was certainly blown off the stadium - and it certainly didn't go unnoticed.

"I don't think our crowd know how important they are to us," said manager Brian McDermott. "At 2-0 down it's obviously difficult and we have to give them something. Once Jimmy scored the crowd were right in the game, they were our 12th man and that's why we list them in the programme and on the teamsheet. 

"They had a fantastic day and I'm delighted for them. They got us over the line and it made a massive difference to the players. 

"Coming to Madejski Stadium is never easy for any opposition. I remember Wigan in the play-off, Middlesbrough on the first day in 2006. I could feel we’d been written off but when we scored we stepped up."

Skipper Jobi McAnuff and goalscorer Adam Le Fondre were also keen to thank the supporters for their backing, which helped the Royals accomplish the impossible.

"It was epic. The fans were fantastic," said Alfie. "At the end, they were immense and everyone was bouncing around and it made for a great atmosphere. Full credit to the fans."

Jobi added: "The atmosphere was as good as it gets! We understand we've got a responsibility to get them to make some noise. Perhaps we didn't do that enough earlier in the game - but it just shows what a difference they make when they're vocal and behind us."

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