Mendes on his maiden goals and a vital victory
Two goals for Joseph Mendes on his full league debut… not a bad way for the Frenchman to kick off our double-header of Easter games as we took our first ever win at Villa Park!
He netted the Royals’ first two in a 3-1 triumph… and while he was pleased for himself, he was even happier that it contributed to a well-earned team victory.
“I’m very happy today – it was a tough game against a very good team,” said Mendes. “I’m very happy to score today, but all the team deserve this win because we worked hard!
“The first eight months here for me were difficult because I have had a lot of injuries, but for the last two months I have been fit and I have worked hard and played a lot of games for the Under-23s. I have to say thank you to the gaffer for that because I was lucky to get that opportunity.
“People who know me and where I’m from know that I will always work. Even when I wasn’t in the squad, I never give up. I have to say thank you to my teammates as well because they always help me… and thank you to the fans as well because they have been patient with me.
“So today I am very happy – I enjoyed it and hopefully I will score a lot of goals!”
A number of niggling injuries and competition for places in attack have meant Mendes has needed to stay patient throughout his time at Madejski Stadium.
But now that he’s feeling fit and fresh, he passed his thanks to manager Jaap Stam after being trusted with a place in the XI at Villa Park.
“I felt I was ready for a start – I did a lot of finishing with Said Bakkati,” he continued. “Every training session we stay and do extra.
“I found out on Tuesday that I would be starting – and I was ready. I have felt very good in training for the last couple of weeks. So I have to say thank you to the gaffer for giving me my chance.
“It’s a good time for me to do my job. I trust myself and believe in working, and hopefully we can get promoted this season.”