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‘Fans key to solid performance’ says Paunovic as Reading beat 10-man Nottingham Forest

Reading v Luton Town- Veljko Paunovic
Reading v Luton Town- Veljko Paunovic

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic highlighted the importance of the fans support as the Royals’ fans returned to the Madejski Stadium for the first time in nine months.

Reading moved up to second in the Championship table with a convincing win after goals from Lucas Joao and Michael Morrison earned them three points over 10-man Nottingham Forest.

“We are feeling great with the fans back, playing good football, it’s a special moment, getting a win with a solid performance,” said Paunovic.

“”Having fans back was better than I expected. From the moment we stepped on the field, we felt the warmth and support and the eagerness of our fans. It was unique.

“The red card changed the game in our favour and I felt a challenge to get the most out of it. We had a few more opportunities that we have to convert and maybe lost our focus.

“We went out with a purpose in the second half to go out and win the game. We have to remind ourselves that we are here to compete.

“We learned that we have to be patient but have to have impact and finish our actions. We had a lot of shots on goal but most importantly they were purposeful. We could have scored more if we had more concentration and control.

“We re-focused in the second half. The key today was our fans. The team understood we had to deliver and we cannot lose the opportunity to build a new momentum and today helped us do that.

“I’m very grateful for the support and the warmth. It was special and unique. It was organic and it was unforgettable. During the game, I wasn’t aware until someone told me the fans were cheering my name! Thank you to the fans for that.”

Michael Olise impressed again as he collected two more assists to help the Royals to victory, and the Reading boss wants his star man to keep striving for improvement.

“Michael (Olise) is super talented. He had a very good game. When the team plays good, individuals will pop up and show their performances,” he continued.

“Everyone had their moments on the ball to shine during the game and showed their talent.

“Michael has to keep learning and he still needs to grow. He has things he can implement to be an even better player and that’s what we encourage.

“We see huge potential in him and him having an impact in our club and delivering for the team.”

Paunovic also confirmed that John Swift close to a return from injury.

“Swift is in the final stages of his recovery. Yiadom is longer term, he re-injured himself against Stoke and it will take a little bit more time.

“We have a fantastic team and we have to give them love, support and everything they need. We want to build a culture where the club gives support to the players and the members of the club give support to each other.”

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