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Clarke: Best 45 minutes since I came here

29 August 2015

Manager celebrates birthday with superb away display

Royals boss Steve Clarke celebrated his 52nd birthday by watching what he rightly described as his team's best 45 minutes since he took charge of the club.

Reading were superb in the first half, and played well enough to have been more than 2-0 ahead at the interval thanks to a header from Orlando Sa and Nick Blackman's splendid free kick.

A goal for either side in the second half saw the game finish 3-1, and Nick Blackman's late penalty gave the scoreline a much more accurate reflection of proceedings.

Steve told Reading FC Player, "I'm going to start this interview with a smile! Today was just rewards for the performances since the start of the season, they've been top class.

"First half we were absolutely outstanding. We controlled the game, scored two, could have had more and it was probably our best 45 minutes since I came to the club.

"Maybe we faded a little second half, but when I think about it logically, it's our seventh game this month, Brentford didn't have as many - they had a game postponed here, one less in the League Cup as well so maybe it was due that it would happen, but we got the penalty and clinched the win.

"When you're 2-0 down at home they can thrown caution to the wind, but I have got real men on the pitch. Our goalkeeper was confident, we got in a lot of blocks, headers, and came out of the spell to make it 3-1 and give it a fairer reflection of the game."

After our first victory of the campaign, the boss reinforced how pleased he has been with the team's performances. "People that haven't seen us play might have looked at our results, but in-house we've been really pleased with how we've played, how we've passed it and the chances we've created. Today, the goals came.

"It's nice to be vindicated, and for the players as well, because they believe in what we're doing."

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