Adkins happy with 2-1 victory
Boss Nigel Adkins was delighted to begin our SkyBet Championship season with a 2-1 win over a resilient Ipswich side, and says the win helps us in our ambition to bounce back to the Premier League at the first attempt.
Ipswich took the lead through former Royal Jay Tabb, but we recovered thanks to goals from Adam Le Fondre and man of the match Danny Guthrie. Our fitness, desire and quality paid dividends late on, and the boss said after the match, "It's a good start, we want to win this division so three points in the bag is very important.
"It's the first time as a football club we've won the opening fixture since 2006, so that's pleasing. It was always going to be challenging against this opposition and their manager.
"We started brightly, Royston Drenthe was getting on the ball and then to be fair to Mick [McCarthy] he changed it and they got closer to him, they got further forward. To concede the way we did, we want to do better than that. We should have dealt with the ball.
"But then Alfie scores a great goal right on half time, he got among the two centre halves and got his head on it, I've seen the video again, he heads it first and it's his goal. We'd talked about the second phases from set plays and if Alfie doesn't get the first contact it doesn't go in.
"Then I thought we were strong in the second half - and importantly we won. The second half was better, the fitness grew and we had better possession.
"It was a good shot from Danny Guthrie, of course it got a deflection and a win's a win. We had to clear some long throws late on which made it exciting for the supporters.
"It was also important to win at home and I thought there was a good atmosphere in the Stadium. Ipswich brought three thousand but our supporters made some really good noise and I was pleased about that. It's one down, 45 to go!
"We also came into the game with all players available to select from, barring longer-term injuries, and that was one of our goals in pre-season.
"You don't get too high when you win or too high when you lose. You just have to remain consistent and have a winning mentality. With three points there's a feelgood factor."
The boss is happy to accept any pressure that comes our way as a recently-relegated side, and when asked if people expect us to go straight back up he said, "That's good. That is why we are here. The aspiration is to go straight back up, that's our dream and our desire, there's nothing wrong with that. We've been promoted from this league the year before last, so why can't we deal with the pressure, it's where we want to be.
See full reaction from the boss on Reading FC Player now, as well as video interviews with Sean Morrison and Jay Tabb.
"There's always a little bit of uncertainty coming into the first game, how you're going to start. We are obviously respectful of every opposition team, because we all know how challenging this season will be. There is no given on any day, you have to earn everything."