Right-back discusses second-round winRoyals right-back Chris Gunter was pleased with a patient and professional performance from Reading against Portsmouth, which allowed them to complete a second-half turnaround against their hosts to book a Capital One Cup third round slot.
“It was a tricky night – we knew it was going to be a tough game, with the fans and the atmosphere that they create here, and they are a good team,” said Gunter after the game. “But the main objective in the cup is to come and get a result. We came from behind, and we move on and look forward to the next round.
“In the first half Portsmouth sucked the ball towards the goal and made it difficult. They are a decent team and they play quite free with players popping up everywhere. In the first half they had a couple of chances and so did we, but they took their one. We knew at half time that if we carried on creating chances that they would go in. Once we got the first, we were always going to be the team that would go on to win.
“We had to carry on and remain patient and we know that if we carry on making chances, we’re going to start taking them. We have been playing well in this unbeaten run, and if we can start turning some of the draws into victories like we did tonight, things will look and feel better than they do right now.
“You find that in this tournament if you put a few wins together, you find you’re in the latter stages. We’ll never complain about the amount of games that we play – we had a busy schedule last year and we know that going through in cup competitions brings more games, but this squad won’t complain about the workload because winning is good for the group.”
It was a goal from Garath McCleary that sealed the Royals’ passage to the third round, setting up a tie against either Barnsley or Everton, dependent on which side prospers at Oakwell on Wednesday evening. It was the Jamaican’s first game of the new season for Reading, and Gunter is pleased to see bodies back into the squad.
“We have had a few of the attacking boys injured recently – everyone knows what a threat Garath is, and when he came on he gave us a different sort of outlet and there aren’t many players in the squad like him,” he continued. “You can tell that when he gets the ball, the full-back is wary of his pace and power – he gives us something different.
“He’s always good to pop up with a goal and it hasn’t taken him long to come back and find his feet, which is brilliant for us and for everyone involved.”
Reading travel to Griffin Park for the final fixture before the international break comes around, and the Royals defender is hopeful of registering a sixth straight game without defeat by bringing three points back to Berkshire.
Gunter continued: “Brentford is another game where we’ll look to carry on our unbeaten run. As we’ve said, we have been playing well – sometimes goalless draws at home are hard for people to get excited about. But if we carry on with the same level of performance, we are confident that we can turn draws into victories like we did against Portsmouth.
“Then we can really start to push on, starting with Saturday at Brentford, and then especially when we come back from the international break.”