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💬 "Not the prettiest win, but an important one!"

Pauno reflects on a Boxing Day victory over Nathan Jones' Hatters...

26 December 2020

Our belated Christmas gift to Royals fans was three points this afternoon - a victory that came courtesy of a fine first half performance and a resilient second half display.

"It was not not the prettiest win, but an important much-needed one," Veljko Paunovic began his post-match analysis.

"Our performance in the first half was dynamic and clinical in our execution - that was the performance we were putting in at the start of the season.

"The approach and application from the team was very good. In the first half you could see the energy, that sharpness.

"In the second half, we weren't consistent with our ball possession and we would have liked to have created more opportunities, but we defended well until that late goal.

"We were confortable without the ball until we conceded and then we had a nervous few minutes at the end. But I think the team played in a similar situation at Cardiff and we won there. I like it when the team applies something it has learned from a previous experience.

"And we ground out a win. We literally bled out the win - both Tom and Alfa picked up some some nasty wounds in that first half."

Victory was set up with a fine left-footed finish from Tom McIntyre - an Academy graduate who has been at the club since the age of eight and who scored his first professional goal in front of the South Stand.

"I'm very happy for both Tom and Alfa scoring their first goals. Tom is a child of the club, he's spent his whole career here and today was a special moment for him.

"I'm very happy for him for his goal, but I'm also very happy that he adapted very well to playing in a new position. And he was excellent.

"This win gives us an important boost in confidence. Yesterday, was Christmas Day and everyone spent time at home with their family. So we said to the players, 'how do you want to come back home?'

'As winners, right?' So that was our motivation - everyone wanted to sit around the table tonight with their loved ones having won the game."

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