We’ve seen this situation before – and recently. A goal down late on against Nottingham Forest, the Royals again showed their staying power to get back on terms and take a point from one of the division’s top sides.
Another show of character from the Royals. And perhaps the only quibble at the final whistle was coming away with just a single point, rather than three from a strong showing.
“We thought their goal was offside – but it wasn’t, so it was a good call from the referee there,” reflected Reading boss Mark Bowen. “But almost as soon as we kicked off, we got control of the game again and we were positive in everything we did.
“No heads dropped down, there was a feeling within the team on the pitch that this game wasn’t over yet. That’ll stand us in really good stead.
“No doubt about it, we had a blip, a hiccup at Millwall on Saturday – you can take losing, that happens in football, but we didn’t do ourselves justice. I said after that game that we forgot how to play, we let going away to Millwall affect us.
“But we’ve come here tonight against a team that’s been flying high all season, and someone just asked me if we were happy with a point – yes, because we were a goal behind, but overall? No. I thought we edged it in terms of play.
“Again, it’ll stand us in good stead, and we’ll march on. All we can do is keep doing ourselves justice and working the way we are.
“I never really question the effort of the players. It’s a balance you’ve got to have between effort and doing the right things, getting on the ball and being brave, while showing character to play in difficult circumstances.
“We all know we didn’t do that properly on Saturday, but we’ve come here tonight and reacted, right from the kick-off. We were well organised, we talked about different things, we had a game plan and they’ve carried it off to a T. I’m really pleased with the performance from everybody on the pitch.
“The staff and players have worked really hard. I said to them on the first day I came in that we’ve been playing catch up, taking over a side that were in the bottom three. There’s only two ways you can go, you can stay there and mope around, or you can change things around.
“Everybody’s bought into it, in that time, the lads have given me everything they’ve got. I still say we’re a work in progress, we’re developing all the time as individuals and as a team.
“We’ll keep striving and keep pushing on. I’ll say this, when I took over, I mentioned about the Play-Offs, and I still think, why not?
“Until it’s mathematically impossible, we will keep pushing and striving to get enough points to get into the Play-Offs. If we fall short, we fall short – but we’ll never stop pushing for that.
“That’s the one little thing with tonight, I thought we were the better team on the night. We’ve got a good point from going a goal behind, but I’m still disappointed we didn’t win because three points would have pushed us up a bit further, but that’s what we’re all pushing for.”