Winger reflects on his brace and three pointsParity lasted just 57 seconds in Wigan. And then Garath McCleary latched onto George Evans’ raking ball and lifted over the advancing Adam Bogdan for the opener.
The Royals never looked back. Before five minutes was on the clock, our Jamaican winger had notched a second after a bold run from back to front by defender Liam Moore – and midway through the second period, Yann Kermorgant sealed a 3-0 win from 12 yards with a well-taken penalty.
“It was a great start – we took our chances,” said McCleary, whose opener was the quickest goal recorded in the Sky Bet Championship so far this season. “All the boys are happy that we kept a clean sheet also.
“For the first goal, I was surprised that the goalkeeper didn’t come out sooner – I just continued to go. I had a similar opportunity against QPR, but I didn’t go 100%... this time I did, and thankfully I got a goal.
“And for the second, Liam did really well – he was very composed and he continued his run as well. I was in two minds whether to play the ball back to him, but as soon as I got around the area I thought I’d have a go.
“We kept a clean sheet and we’ve scored more than one, which is good. I thought it was a good performance, and as you can see the boys are enjoying it.
“That’s three wins on the bounce now. If we keep winning, we’ll be there or thereabouts. We’ll continue to try and put in performances like today, and hopefully at the end of the season we can be somewhere quite good.”
Now the focus switches to the international weekend – some players will be heading away on international duty, whilst others will be back at Hogwood getting some training ground work done.
McCleary knows how important it will be to freshen up over the next fortnight, with a jam-packed festive schedule on the horizon.
“Training has been good this week – now we’ve got two weeks to recharge and get prepared for the next games,” he continued.
“It’s a time for the gaffer and his coaching staff to have a look at us, our patterns of play, and sharpen us up for the coming games. Training is really tough, but that’s good for us. Competition is very fierce this season and long may it continue.
“We’ve only got three games in November, which is a surprise for us – but we’ll take it! But over the December and the Christmas period there are a lot of games on the bounce so everyone will be utilised. Hopefully we can keep churning out wins.”