Manager on team performance against RobinsRoyals boss Brian McDermott reserved special praise for Matej Vydra for his work-rate and never-say-die attitude which helped affect the team’s outcome in Reading’s 1-0 win over Bristol City on Saturday.
The Czech forward ended the fixture with his kit caked in mud after working so hard for the team in the win against the Robins; the team as a whole was demonstrably on the same page in terms of working for each other in a tough-fought win.
“Matej worked his socks off, he never hid,” said McDermott after the game. “He’s made an unbelievable tackle late in the game, and then a terrific pass from Garath McCleary made the goal for Nick Blackman to score. So it was a top class finish and I’m delighted for everyone in the group.”
Vydra worked tirelessly and gave the City defence a lot to think about during the victory, in the right place at the right time to narrowly miss a couple of difficult opportunities as well as forcing a sharp save out of goalkeeper Frank Fielding.
And despite not finding the back of the net himself, the Royals striker kept going from the first to the final minute...and beyond. Just as the game ticked into stoppage time, the Czech international tracked back deep into his own half to win the ball and start the move which led to Reading’s last-gasp winner.
“We showed him a replay of the goal in the staff-room afterwards, and I said ‘that is what a match-winner does – and that’s what you’ve done today.’ That tackle sparked a match-winning situation for us,” reflected McDermott.
“Every striker – even the top, top strikers in the world, will go through spells when they don’t feel as confident, that’s part of the journey.
“Look at Shane Long – when he was here, he constantly put himself on the line to score goals and there was never any chance of me leaving him out. He didn’t score for 15 games or so but what he was doing for the team was phenomenal. He missed chances, but he laughs about that period now after the assists and goals he ended up scoring for this club.”