Stand-in left-back gives post-match reactionIt had been three months and one day since Stephen Quinn last played a match for Reading – and after a spell sidelined with a knee injury, the midfielder was delighted to finally be back out on the pitch again as the Royals defeated Blackburn 1-0 at Madejski Stadium.
The Irishman’s return was in rather unfamiliar territory, however – in the absence of Jordan Obita and Andrew Taylor, he slotted in at left-back – and helped the defensive unit to a clean-sheet in Brian McDermott’s first match of his second spell as manager.
But he was more than happy to drop in in the full-back position and play his part as the team secured a much-craved three points.
“I’m delighted – it’s been three months since my last game,” said Quinn. “I was really disappointed; this was the longest spell I’ve ever been sidelined for, so it was hard to take.
“Getting back in against Blackburn, I didn’t think it would be at left-back! But I was happy to do a job for the team. A couple of our left-backs – Jordan Obita and Andrew Taylor – were out, so the manager asked me if I had ever played there before. I hadn’t, but I’ve filled in a couple of times and I was happy to help out for the team and do a job.
“All through my career when I’ve played on the left wing I’ve liked to track back a lot and help my full-back, so I know what I needed to do and how to play that position a little bit. It helps with Paul McShane and Michael Hector back there too, who are brilliant.
“I really enjoy getting back amongst the lads and being back out on the pitch. As the manager said, ‘why play with pressure?’ You’re not going to play well, and he told us to express ourselves and enjoy ourselves. That’s what I do on the pitch anyway – ever since I’ve played the game, I try and play it like I’m on the streets with my mates.
“It’s not a long career, so I’m just taking every minute and enjoying it – whether I’m at left-back, left-wing or in goal – I’ll do a job wherever, as long as I’m playing.
It was the first game that Quinn has played under McDermott – and he revealed that the future and the remainder of the current season held an exciting prospect for him.
“We’ve got a new manager in – he has got a good aura about him,” Quinn continued. “He loves this club and there is a bit of a buzz around the place, so I’m really looking forward to working under him.
“It was all about us – the manager emphasised that before the game; to get the crowd off their seats and go and attack. We’re a good side and we needed that confidence – that’s probably been hit over the last eight to ten weeks so it was great to get the win and hopefully we can build on that in the Christmas period.”
The game-deciding goal came early in the first period – a wonder-goal from Danny Williams.
Quinny revealed that when the American midfielder shaped to shoot, he was ready to give him an earful – but that all changed once the net rippled!
He continued: “It was an unbelievable strike – I couldn’t actually believe it when it went in! I was nearly going to give out to him because he was shooting from that sort of angle, but it was Van Basten-esque!
“Danny has got a great shot on him and the manager said that to him before the game – if he can get forward, get his shots off and he did that straight away.
“I think there was only one team that was going to win that game because of all the attacking we had done, and the shots and the crosses we were getting in. I think we deserved that and hopefully now we can push on against Wolves.”