October's player of the month confident of charge up the tableJamie Mackie says that Reading will soon mount a charge up the Championship table, if they can maintain the same level of defensive solidarity they displayed in the 3-0 win over Rotherham United on Tuesday.
The Nottingham Forest loanee followed up receiving the club’s Player of the Month award for October by opening the scoring, and then laying on Simon Cox’s first goal.
The result made it back-to-back 3-0 home wins and Mackie reckons that a spell of consistent, solid defending will have the Royals moving in the right direction.
“Scoring goals hasn’t been in doubt but collectively we need to make sure we keep the ball out of our net and be solid,” he said. “That is what this league is all about.
“If you keep clean sheets then you’ll find yourselves challenging towards the play-offs. We’ve worked hard as a team and we’re going to work even harder now to make sure that we go on a run.
“The best way to do that is to keep clean sheets and be solid as a team, not just the defenders. It’s about all of us doing it together.
“And with players like Simon Cox and Glenn Murray up front we are going to score a lot of goals throughout the season, I’m sure.”
Mackie’s 23-minute strike, his first for the Royals, carried an even greater significance for him and his family as his grandmother passed away 24 hours before the match.
Mackie said: "It’s been a tough, emotional time for everyone. My mum has had a tough few days and so have all the family. That goal is for her.
"We called her Granny T, so I was delighted to score for her. It’s been a difficult 48 hours but I dedicated the goal to my grandmother."
Mackie penned a season-long loan deal in Berkshire in the summer and he thinks that he is starting to rediscover his best form.
He said: “I’m really delighted with the way I’m playing at the moment and I think that’s down to me enjoying my football.
“I really like it here and I’m having a great time. I want to keep doing well for the team and football club, and see where it takes me.
“Playing with the lads, we’ve been a bit indifferent lately but we got the win we needed. We need to go on a run now.
“It was nice to get off the mark myself, and they were two quality goals from Coxy. The most important thing was the result, though.”
Like fellow goalscorer Cox, Mackie was reintroduced into Nigel Adkins’ starting 11 having begun Saturday’s defeat at Blackburn Rovers on the bench.
“I believe that in football you always have something to prove and I always play with that in mind,” he explained.
“I just do what I do and hope the manager picks me. It’s not about me, though, it’s about the whole squad and that’s the only way we’re going to have success. I got my head down, didn’t sulk and made sure I was right. The only way you can do that is to play well.
“I was happy with my performance but was more pleased with the result and the clean sheet.”