Michael Morrison has been central to a third straight clean-sheet, as the Royals have left the attacks of Luton, Huddersfield and Charlton blunt in consecutive matches.
Giving his reflections after the 1-0 win at Charlton, Morro gave this thoughts about the upturn in fortunes – and the mentality that the team have been taking into games and ambitions of becoming steelier in defence.
“Now it’s two Saturday wins on the trot and another clean sheet in the week as well, the third in a row,” said Morrison. “There’s been a lot of change in the squad – we really looked at ourselves after the Brentford game, and said ‘we can do more’.
“The lads have really replied to that and shown some good performances, some good willing and energy.
“There is a real emphasis on the team to work hard. It’s not just the back four who can take credit; throughout the team we are looking harder to beat. It’s something we talked about and you can see the change.
“We’re really pleased to keep the clean sheets, especially when you’ve got a couple of young lads who have come into the back four and that breeds confidence for them.
“Tom McIntyre and Gabriel Osho are in defence, you’ve got Andy Rinomhota in front and Michael Olise and Omar Richards came off the bench. It’s really exciting to see young players coming through from the Academy.
“It’s a shame the fans can’t come out and watch them, and connect with them! That’s how teams and fans connect – seeing young lads come through who are Reading fans and are Reading players.”
Indeed McIntyre – Morrison’s centre-half partner for the last three games – is a Royal through-and-through, and has caught the eye with some imperious displays against some seasoned campaigners.
“Tom is a really good listener,” Morrison said. “He really wants to improve his game; he takes everything on board, studies what he’s doing and he’s always asking questions. He wants to do well – that’s half the battle.
“He’s ready to put his head in there and block. He’s not the sort of centre-half who is happy enough if you lose 3-0 if he’s done a nice pass. He wants to defend and do the horrible side. Sometimes you don’t have that coming through an Academy – but he’s got a real promising future.
“He gives balance on the left-hand side with his left foot… and he’s really done himself a huge favour with his performances.”