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"We're a different team now"

2 February 2013

Skipper lauds Kebe and praises the team's turnaround

Royals skipper Jobi McAnuff was delighted to reflect on another superb late win at Madejski Stadium and was quick to heap praise on fellow winger and scorer of two Jimmy Kebe.

"He's a real handful for any defence in this league and today he's shown a different side to his game - he was back defending, blocking crosses and it was a fantastic header to get the winner today. And he's beginning to get a bit of a reputation for himself as someone who is a good header of the ball! The first goal was a fantastic finish too, great first touch to beat the man and then a top strike. 

"Jimmy is in really good form and he's been a big player for us so far this season. His goal return has been good and he's flying at the moment. He's a real sight to see when he's in full flow and I'm glad he's in our side when he's on song like this."

In December, Brian McDermott's men travelled up to Sunderland and came away with nothing, soundly beaten 3-0 by the Black Cats. But Martin O'Neill's side were coming up against a very different Reading this afternoon.

"The game up there was a really hard one for us to take, we just didn't perform. It was a real wake-up call," Jobi admitted. "We had a hard look at ourselves and we knew we had to do better. Today, it was important for us to show we are a different team from the one that lost there that night. We're a lot more solid, hard to beat, giving ourselves a good chance to win games, and we were good value for the win this afternoon. It's nice to know we can come back late on if we need to, but we don't want to be doing that every week, so it was nice to get that early goal. 

"You're up against great players every week and you're not always going to get the ball dropping for you in the right position in injury time. Particularly at home, we need to start well and we did that today."

With the win, the Royals edged two points clear of the drop zone, but the skipper was certainly not getting carried away. "We had a tough little spell where we couldn't win a game, and that can happen in this league. We're on a good run but we just need to keep the momentum going and keep picking up the points. Our objective has always been to get above the team in front of us. There is a long way to go, a lot of tough games ahead. We're just going to take it one game at a time and try to churn out the results we need, like we did today.

"We're used to being written off. We were in a relegation scrap in the first year I was here, then we got into the play-offs in the second year, no-one fancied us but we were unlucky to lose in the final. Then obviously last year no-one fancied us to go and win the league and it's been the same this year; no-one outside the club has given us much of a chance of staying up. That's something we use to drive ourselves on. We believe in the quality of the group and what we've got here - and I think that will take us a long way."

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