Steve pleased with FA Cup progressSteve Clarke praised matchwinner Nick Blackman after he came on to put Reading through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
Blackman scored a nice goal following a well-worked team move, and it was enough to decide a close game of few chances.
The manager said, "I was pleased for him because he's worked really hard for me since I came in.
"It was a good combination on the halfway line, and once he was in I fancied him to score because he's a good finisher.
"It's our job to get him in that position more often so we can see that type of finish."
It was a difficult game that always looked likely to be decided by a single goal, and Steve said, "It's a good feeling to be through.
"It could have been a better spectacle for the travelling support, of which there were quite a few and we appreciate their support, so we're delighted to send them home happy.
"We defended really well. It wasn't a great game, you've got to be honest. First half especially, neither team wanted to give anything away, and the clean sheet is a big positive.
"I thought we deserved to win, had good control, played some nice football but not enough, we need to play better football more often and score more - but as I say we're through."
With a number of players back from injury, there were good positives for the boss, who continued, "You're always learning and looking.
"It was nice to give young Dominic Samuel a run-out, Mackie and Guthrie got more minutes, to be fair Mackie would have got longer but for the referee making a meal of a nothing incident before half time, it was more or less said if he committed another foul he'd be off. So I thought it prudent to change it."
The boss now looks to keep progressing in all competitions, saying, "If you can go on a run while building your form, it's good for everybody."
Asked if he has a preference for our fourth round opponents, he said, "Not really. I'm lucky enough to have been involved in five FA Cup finals so I know you just have to take whoever you get."
Lastly, the boss said Jem Karacan may have come on if the game had not been quite so tight, but there is a chance he could play for the Under 21s on Monday.