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Evans praises young team-mates in Millwall victory

Midfielder pleased for players who made the step up!

24 August 2017

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George Evans was full of praise for his young team-mates who made the step up in Reading's 3-1 Carabao Cup victory against Millwall on Tuesday night.

Leandro Bacuna had given the Royals the lead 10 minutes before half-time, before Shane Ferguson's effort was deflected past a helpless Anssi Jaakkola to level the match at 90 minutes.

Evans scored with a superb curling effort from 20 yards to give the Royals the lead in extra time, before youngster Sam Smith rounded off proceedings to ensure the tie didn't end with penalties.

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On Tuesday night's outing, Evans said: "It was a good team performance, some debuts again which is always a positive. I thought the young lads did very well, and it was very important that we got the win.

"It’s a cup that we do want to take seriously and it was a game we definitely wanted to win. Full credit to the lads, I thought they worked hard, worked together and it’s a great result in the end.

"Leandro scored a fantastic goal, it was a shame we didn’t kill the game off in 90 minutes because I thought we had done enough to win the game.

"The lads kept on going, it was a great team effort and performance and we stuck to what we’re good at, playing out from the back.

"I’m delighted to go and get a goal and, more importantly, we’ve gone on to get a win out of it, which is the main thing.

Young Academy product Sam Smith notched his name on the score-sheet for the first time in a senior game to round off the 3-1 victory at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night.

Several other young players made their mark on the game as well, with Andy Rinomhota, Axel Andresson and Danny Loader all impressing on the night.

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Reflecting on Smith's performance and the state of our Academy, Evans added: "I thought Sam’s performance was fantastic. He’s been brilliant, a fellow Manc boy as well so he's a good lad!

"He’s been working really hard in training, and his quality showed.

"He was unlucky not to get a few goals but I’m really delighted that he’s gone and got a goal, I’m really happy for him.

"There are some fantastic players in the Academy, it’s full credit to the staff here. They’ve got great belief in the young players and it’s fantastic to see.

"We’ve all been there at a certain time and the manager is giving out chances like that to young players because they deserve it."

Royals have drawn Premier League side Swansea City in the next round of the Carabao Cup, with the tie due to be played the week commencing Monday 18th September.

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