He was picked out as Man of the Match on Sky Sports for his contribution against AFC Bournemouth on Friday night; since the skipper’s injury, Tom McIntyre is back in the team and Veljko Paunović reserved special praise for our home-grown centre-half.
And that’s not just for his displays in a Royals shirt since returning to the fold, but also for being ready to step in when needed by putting in the hard yards in to keep improving… a typification of what the squad are offering this season.
“We have to highlight Tom and his performance – not only against Bournemouth but in various games,” Pauno said.
“He is developing fantastically. He is very humble, works every day, looks for advice and how he can improve. Even when we don’t have the outcome like we had against Bournemouth, he looks at how he can improve.
“Most impressive is his lifestyle. Coming into our training camp every day and taking care of the small details. Communicating with his teammates and the veterans, the more experienced players around him, looking for advice from the coaches. Coming in first, leaving last.
“That is him – and there are many, many more players that are doing the same. For me, this is the value of this group: the humility, the hard work and enormous power of concentration and willingness to work hard.
“This is the mentality of the whole team. Everybody is like that. Everyone has hunger and wants to be on the field – this is what you need to be successful.”