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“This is what you’re in football for!”

21 February 2016

Captain on Baggies triumph and maiden Royals goal

Reading skipper Paul McShane picked a decent moment to produce his first goal for the Royals – an equaliser in the FA Cup fifth round against West Brom, helping the team to complete a 3-1 turnaround and to book a place in the quarter-final.

It means that Reading are one win away from repeating last season’s semi-final trip to Wembley – the captain wants to make it count against whoever we’re paired against in Sunday evening’s draw.

“This is what you’re in football for,” said the Irishman.  “You want to go and achieve as much as you can – we want to get to Wembley in the semi-final again, and to go a step further and reach the final this year!

“From a season that looks like it’s not gone the way we’ve wanted, it could now end up being a memorable season.  So hopefully we can do that – we’ll see who we’ve got in the next round, and take it from there.”

McShane’s headed equaliser – which came less than five minutes after Darren Fletcher had put the Baggies ahead – was a big moment in the context of the match.  But the centre-half had come agonisingly close to opening his Reading account in the first half – teed up by Simon Cox, his half-volley screwed a matter of inches wide of Ben Foster’s upright.

That mattered little – two Oliver Norwood free-kick assists, for McShane and Michael Hector, were followed by Lucas Piazon’s late sealer.

“I thought it was in at one stage,” said McShane of his first-half chance.  “Coxy set it back and I just had a go at it, so I was disappointed that it didn’t go in. 

“But I’m glad to get on the scoresheet because it’s been a bit of a long wait for me.  I go up for every corner so I need to be getting on the scoresheet a little bit more then I have.  I’ve had chances and I’ve hit the post and crossbar a couple of times; I’m just glad that it’s gone in today.

“Ollie’s delivery is very good – we’re always talking about where I want the ball and where he wants to put it.  It’s come off today and it’s a bit of a monkey off our back.

“We could have won by more – Hal had a chance towards the end, but I was just glad to see that third one go in because that really killed it.  At 2-1 it’s a real dangerous scoreline – anything can happen when they’re lumping the ball into the box.

“So we saw it out for a good 20 minutes, then we just had that bonus goal in the end.”

Through to the quarters and on the scoresheet, not a bad day!

— Paul McShane (@pmacca15) February 20, 2016
The captain was especially pleased that the Royals could claim a well-earned win against their Premier League visitors to secure a place in the last eight.

He continued: “It’s a good feeling to come out of that game with a win!  When they went 1-0 up, I always felt as though we could get back in the game. 

“We didn’t hang around – we got the goal pretty early straight afterwards, and went on from there.  It was a good real team performance and good win.

“I thought we were the better team throughout – we played some good stuff and we had a good bit of the possession.  I think we were the team that deserved to win the game.  They are a Premier League outfit and they’ve been in that division for a good few years now.  It goes to show that if you’ve got that belief, you can mix it with anyone.”

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