Andy Rinomhota expressed his delight at a consummate performance from the Royals on Saturday afternoon, as they overcame Preston North End with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Madejski Stadium.
For Rinomhota, this was his first appearance following a nine-game absence after an injury sidelined him from the end of January. He has since been putting in the hard yards at Hogwood to get himself back fit again, getting back to training over the March international break.
Goals from Yakou Méïté and Mo Barrow saw the Royals to three points on the day, ending Preston's 12-match unbeaten run and denting their promotion hopes - while moving Reading four points clear of the bottom three in the Championship.
"It was a tough one," Rinomhota admitted after the match. "I think we started really well. We got on the front foot, pressed them high and didn't really let them play.
"We got the goal, then thankfully pushed on and got the second, which made it a bit more comfortable. We continued that up until half-time, then in the second half we got a few injuries, had to change personnel, change shape and that let them back into the game a little bit.
"We were under pressure, but the boys stuck in there and we defended well. We were unlucky to concede the goal towards the end, but we managed to see it out and get the three points - which is the most important thing.
"Once you get the early goal, it gives everyone a buzz and lifts them to another level. Even though everyone's already trying their best, it helps the mentality of going out to get another one.
"The results around us went our way as well, so it was crucial we got the win today and every game now is crucial to get as many points as we can.
"We just need to carry on from here, keep our feet on the ground and keep focussed - it was only one game, still seven more left where we need to go on and get the three points again.
"I've been out for six weeks so what a time to come back in, straight into 90 minutes today - I was feeling that! I'm happy that we've got until next Saturday before the next game, but from then it'll be a quick turnaround and a busy period.
"We've got a good squad, we can rotate if we need to and I think we'll get through it."