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"Wins are all that matter...and we got over the line"

Manager reacts to crucial victory over North End

7 April 2018

Barnsley won late, Sunderland and Burton picked up points away from home, Birmingham scored late to edge a little clearer of trouble...three points were imperative. And the Royals responded...

"That's what it is all about...getting the results," manager Paul Clement said after a 1-0 home win over Preston. "That's the stage we're at. We've got five games to go now and a win was important - especially with Barnsley getting that late winner which pushed them two behind us.

"We had to respond. It wasn't pretty at times but we did enough to get over the line.

"It wasn't dissimilar to the QPR win here on Good Firday, where we got ahead early on and then they had more of the ball, getting a lot of balls into the box.

"But the way we're defending, particularly our penalty area, has been really good.

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"When you stay compact, you're more together and you're getting in the right positions - if the opposition get shots in from range, you're getting blocks in, if they're getting crosses into the box, you've got players in the right positions to head the ball away.

"They came close on a couple of occasions, hit the post from the free kick and then had that big chance with the header. But it went our way and we got there in the end...with the help of the fans.

"What I hope everyone can see is the players are giving their best effort. They're trying to close people down, they're determined, they're aggressive - we saw it against QPR and we saw it here this afternoon.

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"And you need that in a relegation need men, people who are going to take responsibility and these players are doing that.

"Of course we'd like to have more of the ball and create more chances, and that's something to look at moving ahead in the medium to long-term. But right now it's about winning football matches.

"We've got five games to go now and we've got to believe we can get points in all of those games if we prepare right and our mentality is strong.

"We've got a big game up next - Fulham away - they're flying at the moment, hunting down second place, so we know it's going to be a difficult game. But it's the next oppportunity for us to add points to our tally."

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