Into the hat for the Second Round draw – it was a good night for the Royals as they saw off Birmingham by a 2-0 scoreline at Madejski Stadium on Tuesday.
It wasn’t quite a perfect performance – manager Paul Clement was clear about that and the need to keep improving.
But there was a dynamism about the play, some debuts, fine strikes by Yakou Meite and John Swift, a clean sheet… and ultimately a much-merited win against the visiting Blues.
“I’m really pleased – it’s our first win in a while,” Clement said. “Overall I’m happy to be in the next round – there are lots of positive things.
“A few players that made full debuts today. It was a clean sheet for Sam Walker, John O’Shea came on at the end, and Marc McNulty played from the start.
“Our attacking play was good and we created a lot. I would have liked to be more comfortable, because at 1-0 you can always smell a chance coming for the other team – and they did have a couple of chances before we got our second.
“But our two goals were excellent. The second was a dead ball, a lovely strike, and that’s something that John practices.
“And I liked the first goal particularly. We split them apart with some really good movement.
“We have lots to improve on still. I saw loads of things that we have to get better at. We will play against some really good teams this season and we’ll have to keep improving all the time.
“Our togetherness and unity is going to be really important for us this season. When someone dips in form a little bit, someone else needs to be there. And that competition for places is healthy.”
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