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Boss: We ground it out

4 December 2013

Adkins reacts to 1-0 win

Royals boss Nigel Adkins admitted it was not a fluent performance against Charlton - but he was pleased that crucially we showed resilience to see the game out.

Having seen points slip away against the likes of Watford and Millwall at home this season, this time it was different as Billy Sharp's goal on debut proved to be the winner.

The boss said, "When we look back at the end of the season it'll say 1-0, it's a horrible one-niler, a grinder, but they are rewarding sometimes.

"I'm pleased we kept a clean sheet and won the game, because in other games this season we've played far, far better but not seen the game out.

"But that's two matches in succession we've seen out, before that a good clean sheet at Blackburn so defensively we've got a platform, even with the likes of Bridge and Morrison out injured."

Reading started well but Charlton came into it more as they game went on, and the boss said, "First half we got on the front foot and scored, but second half we had to show a different side when we weren't anywhere near good enough in terms of keeping possession of the football.

"We had to grind it out, show a defensive role and well done to the players because we all know that over the course of 46 games you can't always play the beautiful game.

"Credit to Charlton because they threw caution to the wind. When there were opportunities for us we picked a poor pass or so on.

"So it's a good three points, clean sheet and a great goal from Billy Sharp, now we move on to the next one. We want to play a certain way, but you've got to be able to mix it up."

The boss brought in Sharp for his first full start, and the striker rewarded him with a very well-taken goal.

Nigel said of the frontman, "I've had Billy at my previous clubs and I know what he can do. Tonight was realistically the first time I've had the opportunity to start him after his injury, maybe up at Forest last week but you have to look at the dynamics of that game.

"Now he started tonight and did ever so well, he was bright and breezy. I'm delighted we got an hour out of him, that's his first start in a long, long time. He looked a threat, joined up really well with Pavel and scored an excellent goal.

"We feel really confident and strong at home. We know Bournemouth are going to give us a tough game but with the way we're playing and how solid we are at the back and going forward we'll be causing them a lot of problems."

"Hal came on in his place, he's been playing really well for us and you saw when he got the ball, what a threat he can be, and it's about choosing the right pass."

Shaun Cummings again played well at left back, and the boss was happy with many players' contributions, saying, "We had players who hadn't started games but they came in and contributed to three points. I thought Shaun Cummings was superb at left back and did really well, Kells went to right back, Jobi was in front of Shaun and that experience was important.

"We're really pleased about that, and also having Royston on the bench was good news."

Former Reading man Simon Church had a penalty claim waved away at 0-0, and the boss commented, "From where I was in the dugout, it wasn't a penalty. If Chris Gunter's one at Blackburn is not a penalty, that one certainly isn't! And Chris got booked!"

Lastly, the boss hopes Danny Williams will be fit for the weekend after coming off to protect a calf problem. "You could see five minutes beforehand he was stretching, he was labouring a little and you'd like to think he'll be OK for the weekend but we'll see, we'll have an MOT on all the players in the next couple of days.

"Danny put a hell of a shift in on Friday looking at the stats. We got a fresh Hope Akpan to come on and you say 'come on then, give us some energy in there' so that's why you have a group of players."

The boss gives his post-match reaction on YouTube.

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