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Swift: "We showed character to come back and win"

Playmaker reflects on important victory for Royals

14 February 2019

John Swift says the Royals showed plenty of determination to overcome Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night.

After the former England U21 international put Reading ahead, Blackburn thought they had snatched a point when Amari'i Bell fired in for Rovers eight minutes from time.

But Nélson Oliveira's fine edge-of-the-area effort gave the Royals three vital points on the night, heading into a clash with promotion challengers, Sheffield United on Saturday.

Despite admitting the Royals weren't at their best, Swift says the victory comes at a good time for the squad, with a vital run of games coming up.

“It’s a relief more than anything really, going 1-0 up really close to half time, we went in happy," the midfielder said of the first half.

“The performance wasn’t what we expected, I think we expected to play a lot better than that, but we showed character to come back and win 2-1."

Swift opened the scoring on the night, latching on to Andy Yiadom's fine work on the right and firing across goal.

Nélson Oliveira gave Reading victory with a strike of real quality, bringing down Swift's 40-yard cross-field pass and slotting into the bottom corner, sending the home support into raptures.

“He’s a prolific striker – he only needs one chance," said Swift of Oliveira. "After I played the ball I was running forward, praying he’d put it in the back of the net.

“It was a great finish, just a long ball over the top and he’s put it away."

Looking back at the performance as a whole, Swift added: “We expected to dominate the ball, dominate possession but Blackburn are a great team. They showed that during the whole game, really.

“I thought it was a lot of determination down the right from Yids [Andy Yiadom] to drive with the ball, lose it and win it back again, then he put it on a plate for me.

“We were just happy to go in at half time 1-0 up, even though the performance probably wasn’t deserving of a 1-0.

“I thought I took a couple too many touches, but I just hit it across goal and I was very happy to see it go in the back of the net.

“This game doesn’t show the work we’ve been doing in training, this was all about character and putting our bodies on the line and really digging deep.

“We like to play football, and we didn’t really do that today – but we ended up getting the win. We went in at the final whistle relieved to take the three points, but we know we can perform better than that.

“The players and staff know that, but at the end of the day the points are all that matters. If we’re going to win a game like that, then I’m sure we’ll take it.”

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