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Interviews

Clarke: Why this win was important

11 September 2015

Boss wants to build on 5-1 home victory

Royals boss Steve Clarke was delighted with his team after a comprehensive 5-1 home win against Ipswich, and will continue to strive for the same level of performance from his team.

We stuck five past Mick McCarthy's men on a hugely entertaining evening at Madejski Stadium, Orlando Sa smacking a hat-trick, Nick Blackman scoring to round off a super individual display and Oliver Norwood scoring the best of the bunch from 30 yards.

Clarke was obviously very pleased with his team and determined to build on the display, saying, "It's a good performance, although it's only one performance. Nine points from six games is not something to be too carried away with. Obviously we're very pleased that we scored at home, pleased we won, it's important to put that to bed. We'd had two 0-0s, supporters want to be entertained and they can go home happy tonight.

"Anybody who looked at our results might have thought we'd had a slow start to the season, but I kept saying that we'd made a decent start. We'd been solid and performances had been really good. Tonight obviously was a different level of performance in terms of attacking. But we also had to show defensive resolve, especially in the first half, because Ipswich gave us a good game.

"Second half we tweaked the system, I think that made a difference. At half time we said it was a big challenge, I sat Tshibola in front of the two centre halves to give them some protection and I think that helped us. Then the timing of the third goal from Nick, and after that we could pick them off."



Sa's hat-trick, Blackman's brilliance and Vydra's quality made for a superb display from our attacking trio, and the boss was rightly delighted. "The front three were good and combined well. All three of them have been working with me since the transfer deadline, they've been in every day and in seven or eight sessions they've already picked up a good understanding, which is great for tonight and hopefully the future too.

"It was a good counter-attacking performance, but we also scored first which opened the game up. It was a great cross from Nick and a terrific header from Orlando. Then we defended really badly for the equaliser which is not like us, we've been defending well. I thought Ipswich in the first half put us under more pressure than any team has this season.

"Orlando got his goals, he's been really good for us since he came in. His movement is good, he's a striker who needs support around him, dynamic players, and he had that tonight in Vydra and Blackman, who both supported him very well.

"Nick has done very well since the start of the season, same again tonight, and Matej links play, works for the team, and will score goals as well."

Last but by no means least, Norwood scored a sensational 30-yarder right on full time, and Steve said, "Everyone knows Ollie has got that in the bag, it was the icing on the cake for me, and for us it’s been a really good night."

Danny Williams was on the bench after a long international trip in midweek, and the boss explained, "Danny, Paolo [Hurtado] and Michael [Hector] didn't train with us at all this week, they got back Thursday, so even for Danny and Michael to be on the bench was a slight risk after their journeys. We couldn't get them on the pitch, but I thought young Tshibola was excellent."

The Royals now host Derby at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night, and the boss is aiming for a positive response from our fans. "Hopefully the supporters who saw us on the television will say they want to have a bit of this on Tuesday. Derby will be up there at the end of the season, now I'll be off on the plane to Manchester tomorrow, then to Preston to see them first hand and their threats."

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