March began with an important win and ends with three equally vital points against a Preston side whose momentum was truly halted and play-off hopes dented by defeat. Royals boss José Gomes was certainly pleased with this afternoon's 2-1 home win.
"I'm very satisfied with my players - they really followed the plan from the beginning," he began.
"We cannot forget that in the last 12 games, Preston did not lose. In their last six away games they won all six. So the results they have been getting spoke for themselves.
"They are a very tough team and my players they did very well. It was a very important three points for us and we deserved it."
"But we know that we are in the middle of a very big fight...until the end."
The Royals were sent on their way to victory by two first half goals which were ruthlessly put away. "We scored two goals in the first half but we were very solid as a team throughout, our players defensively were almost perfect," Gomes continued.
"And we attacked with a lot of danger - in the first half we could have scored another goal from a very good shot from Ovie.
"You cannot forget the number of points we have lost with goals conceded in the last five minutes of games, so I decided to protect the team, to block the result and to keep the three points with us; we changed the system in the second half
"We conceded a bit of space in the centre of the pitch as a result and they were using this space to get balls into the box. So I changed to put Ovie in front of Baker and Andy and we reduced that space and created some dangerous counter attacks.
"And in the end we got the win and three points we needed. However, we still have a long way in front of us. Now, seven games remain, and we have to prepare for the next one, a tough trip to Hull next weekend."