A stunning first half goal from Michael Olise and fine finishes from the starting George Puscas and substitute Lucas Joao led to a comfortable win over Derby County this afternoon and Royals boss Veljko Paunovic was delighted to see his side return to winning ways with a 'mature' performance at the Madejski.
"I'm very happy with the result, but it wasn't easy," he began. "It was a hard game against a hard opponent in Derby County and it was a big result.
"We didn't have a lot of time to prepare for this game, although we did our homework for this stretch of games in the international break so that helped.
"Especially at this stage of the season, with six games left, that's what you need to win your games and the performance today showed that the players understand the opportunity we have.
"The execution was clinical in attack - the first goal was a fantastic goal but it also came at the right moment in the game. It was a very good response; we knew there was 30 seconds left to finish the first half, and we said that the ball has to end up in their box. It did and we scored.
"And defensively I think we did a good job - we conceded a goal near the end which was unstoppable - all you can do is applaud a goal like that. But overall our defence did a good job.
"We always look at it one game at a time. So what has happened in the past, happened in the past. We are where we are because we have done a great job so far this season. But we still have to earn our place in the play-offs.
"And when you win like today, you want the confidence and the positivity that that win supplies. But you also have to keep your feet on the ground. We will keep doing that.
"We are one of the contenders for a trop six place. We will keep focussing on ourselves. And we keep rolling."