Late drama in Suffolk saw the Royals leave three points better off. Mo Barrow’s goal, on the stroke of 90 minutes, ensured that Reading would turn out 2-1 winners against Ipswich Town.
Nélson Oliveira’s sublime opener in the first period was cancelled out in the 83rd minute by Gwion Edwards; it’d have been easy to throw in the towel.
But heads didn’t drop. And that’s what pleased manager José Gomes. His team battled – and fought as a unit – and ultimately took their chance to win the match late on.
“We played very well in difficult conditions,” José said. “We didn’t come here expecting an easy game and we are always fighting with strong, tough teams who can play direct football.
“We suffered a bit in the second half, but we created more than enough situations to win and we deserved what we got.
“When you press high, they play long balls into our box – and then we have to be there to win the first ball, and the second one as well. We made one mistake and they scored. It wasn’t necessary to suffer so much because we had chances to score more in both halves.
“But it was really important the way that our players fought like a team. Everybody helped each other. You can’t control the game completely; sometimes the opponents put the ball in the box and we have to fight for it. We did well.
“I recognise that sometimes these things are difficult and the ball will bounce a lot – so we have to win the challenges and the second balls. It was a real Championship game. I told my players that if I die in England, they are responsible! My heartrate at some times… and I was full of emotion.
“I suppose that when we conceded, some people perhaps stopped believing that it was possible for us to win. But like a team, together, we kept going and creating situations to score, and we made it count. So I am very proud of my players. They deserve it.
“The points were important, especially when we checked at the end of the game and saw that Rotherham had got three points also. Now we have a bigger distance from Bolton, and we’re nearer to Wigan.”
Special mention was reserved for the travelling fans. 1,495 Reading supporters packed the away end, and they were singing loudly and proudly long after the final whistle.
“Our fans were amazing,” José said. “Almost 1,500 were here and they were fantastic. They deserved those three points.
“Since I arrived, they have been amazing. They follow us everywhere and they support us – they don’t just sit there and watch, they make noise and support the team. They deserved this.”