A shell-shocked Brian McDermott began to try to put into words a quite wonderful and spectacularly dramatic last ten minutes at Madejski Stadium – having seen his side earn an incredible victory over West Brom.
Character, guts, bottle, bouncebackability, call it what you like - it was simply an afternoon when you simply had to be there. Brian beamed, “It’s a fantastic result and I’m delighted.
“West Brom are a good side, Steve has done a fantastic job there but our first goal was key, when it went in the crowd really got into the game. I thought we had a major chance at that point and the crowd got us over the line. The real Reading was on show in the last eight minutes.
“Talk about any qualities you like and what we might not have – but we never lack desire, togetherness and a willingness to work for each other. That was as good a comeback as you're ever likely to see.”
Now on Player - see the bench's celebrations after the winning goal, plus the post-match reaction of Brian and Jobi.
Brian's not wrong when he says this comeback is incredible. Three goals in the final eight minutes of the match saw the Royals bounce back from two down to beat the Baggies with goals from Jimmy Kebe, Adam Le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak.
Coming from two goals behind to win has only been done once before in Reading Football Club's top flight history - on the opening day of our first Premier League season in 2006.
"It's never happened before in the last eight minutes!" Brian smiled. "And that's what has happened today. To score three goals in eight minutes in the Barclays Premier League is phenomenal. We've been on the wrong end of a lot of high-scoring games this season and we don't want that. We want to entertain our fans, but most importantly our fans want to see us win.
"And the supporters don't know how important they are to us. We were a little bit flat, in the first half in particular, we couldn't really get to West Brom, who are a good side - they've proven that with the points they've got this season. But the fans stuck with us today. And I'm sure that every single Reading fan will be proud of our players after that."
The trigger to the comeback was Jimmy Kebe's diving header at the far post. "It was important because it gave us something, something to build on. As soon as we got that goal, I felt anything could happen. That's football for you - you get a goal and things can change very quickly. I knew once we got that goal we were in with a shout.
"And then the penalty. Adam Le Fondre. If you want someone to take a penalty for your life, it's Adam Le Fondre. He's playing a big part for us this season. And he's a team man, as they all are. Pavel worked his socks off today. He never stopped trying and it was a great finish for the third goal. I've just seen it back and he got himself in the pocket between the centre half and the goalkeeper. If you give him chances, Pavel scores. His goals to shots ratio is first class. I was blown away by that goal. I think he got booked for celebrating, but we'll forgive him that one. Maybe a fine of a fiver - and that'll do!”
He continued, “I've been lucky to work with our players for a long time and I know all about their character. You have to stay in the game and you have to take your chances in this league. I’ll enjoy this victory and it’s important to do that. I’m looking forward to watching the last eight minutes again! A lot of people were thinking us and QPR were gone but maybe that’s not the case. QPR have taken four points off Chelsea and Tottenham, Harry has done fantastically. There’s still a lot of points to play for – but this has given us a real lift."
Once again Brian deserves real credit for continuing with a positive approach right until the end, and he said, "My gut feel is to go for things, but if you’re a boxer you can go for things and get knocked out. We've had that happen to us a few times so we’re now just staying in games. This was all about guts and then a bit of quality at the end.
“Against Wigan earlier in the season we were 2-2, we took a quick throw-in and we weren't clever and lost the game. Today we were clever, we had chance to take a quick free kick for the third goal but I said to Danny to set it up, then we got our chance. We have learned from things and today we have won, which is massive.”
Finally, Brian spoke about debutant Daniel Carrico, who played the first 45 minutes, “It’s not easy coming in when you've not played many games, Daniel is a great lad and will do smashing for us but I just needed to change things in the middle of the pitch. We needed to make another change later, McCleary and Le Fondre both made a difference and it’s about everybody. Everyone backs each other.”
Now on Player - see the bench's celebrations after the winning goal, plus the post-match reaction of Brian and Jobi. Sign up now and pay £4.49 per month or £18.99 for access until August!