Goalkeeper on return from injury
Alex McCarthy was delighted to return to match action after completing the full 90 minutes for the under-21s on Monday.
The shot-stopper says he's feeling better than ever now as he edges closer to returning from his shoulder injury suffered back in November.
"I've been out for four months now and it was good to get a taster being back on the bench on Saturday," McCarthy told readingfc.co.uk. "It was nice to get 90 minutes under my belt with the under-21s. My shoulder feels good, if not stronger than it was before. I've rehabilitated really well and I'm just looking forward to cracking on now.
"It was frustrating because I was in the team and having a good run of games, so to have the set back was very frustrating. But I got my head down and worked as hard as I could to get back as quickly as possible. While the boys are away (with internationals) I can come in and do my work and keep progressing towards the next game.
"I've got to thank a lot of people. From Luke down to the Masseurs, down to the nutritionists - they've been amazing with my recovery. I feel a lot fitter and stronger in myself and I'm raring to go."
McCarthy paid tribute to Stuart Taylor, who has been the man between the sticks for the Royals this month following Adam Federici's ankle injury.
"When Feds and I were playing, he (Taylor) was very supportive and I've got a really good relationship with him. Seeing him play now is nice and he's got the experience at top level clubs so he knows what it's all about.”
Click here to watch highlights of Alex's return to action during our free trial of Reading FC Player.