Birmingham City offered stern resistance in the Midlands on our last outing on Saturday… but the Royals broke through twice and secured a first away victory of the new campaign.
George Evans, who netted the second in our 2-0 victory, put the triumph down to a strong show of character and a willingness to face up to a physical battle at St Andrew’s.
“We’re delighted to go and get the win,” Evans reflected. “It was an important game; we needed to bounce back from the Preston result, and we did that.
“I thought we were in control and the lads worked extremely hard. You could see the commitment out there on the pitch.
“We knew their qualities. They are a very good side, and we knew they would be tough, especially early on in the game. So we needed to go and win our battles. And we got into our rhythm early on and won a lot of second balls and knock-downs, which we’re improving on, and I think it was a fantastic performance from the lads today.
“The lads coped with them very well. It was a physical game up top with a lot of long balls and knock-downs in there – but the lads showed great character to win the first ball and the second ball as well.”
Evans goal was his second in as many games, following a Carabao Cup strike earlier in the week against Millwall.
There were shades of his last league goal about it – it was the same combo as a Garath McCleary pulled back from the right to allow Evans to steer in. But unlike that added-time winner against Blackburn last season, this one came a bit earlier and opened a two-goal margin – giving the Royals a more comfortable end to the outing.
“We were speaking on the sideline about getting up there and into the box,” Evans continued. “We know G-Mac’s quality. He is fantastic in the final third and makes a real difference. It was a bit like Blackburn away – a great pull-back again, and obviously I’m delighted to get another goal. It was nice to have a more comfortable end to the game.
“I saw quite a few bodies in front of the goal – the corner is your best bet. It was a quick ball back, and if it’s any slower it’s a bit harder to hit. When there’s a bit of pace on it, it makes your mind up. Luckily I caught it nicely. I’m delighted more than anything that we got the win.”