An firecracker from Liam Kelly, sandwiched between fine finishes from Yakou Meite and Leandro Bacuna earned the Royals a vital victory at Madejski Stadium this afternoon - and manager Paul Clement was pleased to see hard work pay off.
"It was a massive game. I used up a lot of mental pressure this week because I felt there was a lot of pressure on this game, pressure which has been building because of our form and results, so I’m delighted for everybody involved at the club – our owners, the people who work behind the scenes, and of course the players.
"The players stood up and were counted this afternoon. They put in a massive effort – that’s what I asked of them. Blood and sweat, leave it on the pitch.
"Show the fans that you’re really working and that you want it. They did that and they got the reward for it.
"It’s the same scoreline and pattern as what happened at Preston - we led twice and they came back twice. But again we still had the mental resolve to keep going and try to get the result - and we did.
"The timing of their second goal could have been a big blow for us mentally, but we responded well to it. We began level-pegging in the second half, we went again, and although they came close at the end we were in the right place at the right time when it was required.
"And we scored three really good goals. Our goalscoring record is pretty good, considering our position in the league.
"The issue for us is some of the mistakes defensively that have cost us being the wrong side of fine margins and also in games when we’re under pressure.
"If we can tighten up defensively and be more solid and keep clean sheets, we’ll begin to move up the table because we’ve got a lot of quality going forward.
"Thankfully, it went the right way for us today. So, yes, perhaps I'll sleep better tonight. But I'm sure I'll be back to the sleepless nights thinking about the next one come Sunday and Monday night!"
Now, the Royals have an opportunity to pick up back-to-back wins for the first time this season when we host Ipswich Town at Madejski Stadium next weekend.
"Ipswich got a draw today but they’re five points behind us. It’s early in the season but it’s like an early six-pointer. If you win the game, you go eight points clear of bottom.
"And while our position in the table hasn’t changed today, it’s all condensed a little bit with the teams above us. That’s what you want – you don’t want to be cut adrift.
"Now we need to start to put a run of results and performances together. And all the focus is on next weekend now."