After making his first consecutive starts in the Sky Bet Championship, 21-year-old defender Gabriel Osho is enjoying life – playing senior football at a high level, developing as a player and helping the Royals to points in the league.
Deployed as a centre-half for much of his youth career, he filled in at the right-back berth in the win against Luton and Tuesday’s draw against Huddersfield, and has impressed in a relatively unfamiliar position.
“To play any game in the Championship is a privilege, so to play back-to-back games and keep two clean sheets is a good start for a defender,” said Osho.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played Saturday-Tuesday! Tuesday was a tough game – they had some good players, some fast players. But I’m enjoying it – loving it.
“Since the coronavirus break, we had a full squad back fit – playing and training hard. I’m just happy that the manager put faith in me to play.
“I’m learning on the job! Right-back isn’t a role that I’ve played a lot growing up, but it means I get to get forward and join in with the attack, you get to defend most importantly – it’s going well at the moment.
“Any opportunity you get, you try to get forward and see if you can affect the attacks, but most important is to defend. I hope to bring something to the role, especially in defending, and in the last two games we’ve kept clean sheets. I hope we can continue in that way.”
It’s not just at Reading that he has been learning – with loan spells at Maidenhead, Aldershot, Bristol Rovers and Yeovil under his belt, he has been more than happy to go outside his comfort zone in search of regular football.
But training at Bearwood, learning the game alongside seasoned professionals, has its benefits too.
“I’ve been on loans where the team isn’t doing as well, and loans where the team is really fighting for something,” he continued.
“Just being around that and seeing how players behave and react has really helped me to come into the side now.
“Now the quality here is really high. You train with it every day and get better every single day. It all helps.”
Whether he’s included for a third start in eight days remains to be seen – the side are preparing for Charlton, and what will certainly be a stubborn test at The Valley.
The team took a day off on Wednesday… but no rest for Gabe, who was on the internet, doing his own scouting!
“I’ve just got to train hard today and tomorrow, and see what the manager decides to go with on Saturday,” Osho continued.
“As a team we’ll be looking at Charlton together… I was on YouTube yesterday, looking at their highlights! They’re a good team – they’ve got a lot to fight for in the last couple of games of the season so it’ll be a good test for us.
“They have a lot of spirit – they’re coming in off the back of a tough defeat to Brentford on Tuesday. They’ll be looking for the three points.
“But just like they do, we want to get as high up in the table as we can. We have to do all that we can to win the game.”