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Clarke hails 'massive' late goal

3 March 2015

Boss delighted with late show from Royals

Manager Steve Clarke was rightly delighted with his team's character after they fought back to secure a late point at Bolton.

Jamie Mackie scored in the 92nd minute to give us a hard-earned draw, and it was a reward for his team's efforts and quality.

Clarke said, "It was a big goal for us in a really important game. I felt it was important to come here, show a bit of character and not get beat.

"For a long part of the evening I thought it was going to be another game that drifted away from us. But the players showed what I asked them to show: character, determination and belief. They kept trying right to the end and they got their reward."

With Chalobah and Norwood in the middle of the park, Reading looked to keep the ball on the deck and did that to good effect, particularly in the first half. "I thought some of the football in the first half was good. We played some good stuff, I came here and I wanted to put a positive mentality into the team.

"I picked a team with two good passing players in midfield, I picked a team with energy and drive to get forward up the pitch. First half we created some good moments as we have in many games this year, and still struggled to find the finishing touch. It was really important for us to score tonight and get at least one point. I thought the subs all contributed to that as well.

"We conceded a goal that came out of nowhere, we'll analyse it and make sure it doesn't happen again. But like I said, the biggest thing that I take from tonight is that the group showed character. They showed a determination to come here and get a result for the club, for the travelling supporters – we appreciate the fact they made the effort to come here before another big trip at the weekend. For me it was a massive goal."

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