Three goals, three points and a strong showing against Nottingham Forest – just the kind of pick-me-up that the Royals wanted ahead a visit to Derby this weekend.
The Rams sit fifth in the table after picking up a steady stream of good results in the opening weeks; forward Sone Aluko, who notched his first Reading goal against Forest, believes that his team can make it back-to-back victories ahead of the international break.
“It’s another very hard game – we always talk about how tough every game is, especially this season,” he said. “We have to work hard for the points… nothing is given to you, you have to earn every one.
“So we’re going to a good side, but the result against Forest will give us confidence and scoring goals gives us confidence.
“We can win the game. We’ve got a gameplan, and we’ll execute it.”
The midweek win against Forest set a benchmark for the kind of performances that Reading will be looking to replicate – a purposeful and fear-inducing side where the attack looked a threat and the defence looked resolute.
“It’s a confidence-booster – it’s what we needed and what we’re looking for,” Sone continued, reflecting on Forest. “When it all clicks together, we’re very pleased.
“It was more of an all-round performance. We scored first, which is crucial… it gives us something to build on and it means that they have to come out and try to score, which suits our play. We kept the ball well, moved it well, and the intensity was better.
“A lot of it was out of frustration. We’re frustrated in the results we’ve been getting and that the performances haven’t been going our way. Errors have been punished – sometimes you get away with it, but recently all of our errors have been badly punished.
“Against Forest that frustration came out. We got a good start, good intensity, we were pressing high up the pitch to win the ball early… it all clicked. The result didn’t flatter us.
“It’s hard work, but enjoyable when it comes off. We’d been working on it in the week – we want to try and win the ball higher, play with more energy and intensity and that builds confidence too, when something you’ve worked on comes off and proves to be effective.”