Victory! A stunning strike, a red card, an injury time penalty save...Paul Clement got a moment to draw breath before reflecting on an important three points at home to QPR this evening!
“I’m happy for the fans and I’m happy for the players, because it’s not been an easy time that they’ve been through,” said Paul Clement after his first game in the Royals’ dugout brought a gutsy three points to RG2. “They got what they deserved today.
“We were under pressure at times, of course, and we had the penalty save at the end. But I said to the players in the dressing room that the goal and the save were worthy match-winning incidents.
“And I more pleased with the effort and determination that was shown all over the pitch. The players were working hard, working for each other, making tackles and blocks, dealing with adversity. They showed that they were up for the battle.
"And, with all of those things, we got over the line. So I’m really pleased."
It was Sone Aluko's 13th minute thunderbolt that separated the sides at the end of a highly dramatic encounter with Ian Holloway's Rangers - but it took every ounce of effort from a resolute and resilient Royals side to hold onto victory at Madejski Stadium.
"We started brightly and we fully deserved to go ahead...it was a fantastic goal," Clement continued.
"After that, the team went a bit negative – I think that’s normal under the circumstances, to try and go safe and go defensive. We had a poor period then and we spoke about those things at half-time.
"And it was a battling performance overall. I was expecting them to put in a shift and they did.
"So we have to say ‘well done’ to the players, for all the effort they put in over the week and their focus on today's game.
"And we got the three points we needed. With the way that the other results went today, it has been a good weekend for us so far.
"But this is just the start. We’ve got seven more games, and every game has got to be at least like that… and maybe even better."
And the final word was left to the fans...
"The crowd were brilliant today. They came in their numbers on this really wet Friday evening, so a big ‘thank you’ to them.
"I hope they liked the performance of their team and what we need is for them to come back next week when we’re at home again to Preston.”