Paunovic applauds Meite’s quality after Royals extend lead to five points at top of the Championship

Reading v Watford- Veljko Paunovic
Reading v Watford- Veljko Paunovic

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic was full of compliments for Yakou Meite after the Ivorian bagged a double to see the Royals beat Rotherham United.

The Royals made it six wins from seven to extend their lead at the top of the Championship to five points.

Yakou Meite netted a double while Lucas Joao’s purple patch continued as he put away a stoppage time penalty.

“We focus on winning games and our performances,” said Reading manager Veljko Paunovic.

“We count our points but we want to be consistent and think about our next game and how we can improve.

“In the first half we had a difficult time because of the spirit of our opponents.

“The adjustments and commitment of everyone brought us to a different type of game in the second half and we were much better and comfortable.”

Paunovic was praising of his team but remained insistent that there is room for improvement despite the Royals’ fantastic start to the season.

“So far we haven’t got to the performance we are looking for. We’re going through the process. Our non negotiables are always there and we’re looking to improve our goal scoring chances,” he continued.

“We haven’t had too many shots on goal but we have taken our chances. I’m containing my excitement, I’m very happy but in the locker room, everyone has the fire in their eyes.

“I want to give the guys the confidence and belief that they can win every game. We keep our feet on the ground and focus on our recovery. It’s a marathon and the games never stop.”

“We managed the minutes of the guys due to the games we have. We think about these things. We need to give opportunities to players who are ready for it.

“Everyone has to be ready. The plan worked well and we will continue adjusting when we have to adjust.

“Meite scored one of the best goals we have seen, one of the best I’ve seen since I’ve been involved in football.”

Reading boast a remarkable defensive record having conceded just one goal this season and Paunovic reiterated the fantastic spirit of his side.

“We learned from Wycombe, we were patient. It was hard for us but the team knows how to deal with these situations. We calmed down and that helped us to control the game and create more opportunities.

“We are all on the same page. We never give up. The identity and character of our guys makes this work. We have warrior spirit in our genes and that is always present in the team.

“Tom Holmes had a hamstring injury and wasn’t ready for today. Tomas Esteves today put his shield on, his helmet and sword and kept pounding. He was fantastic. He’s 18 and played like he has been here for 10 years.

“The plan is important but the detail wins the game.”

The games keep coming thick and fast as the Royals travel away to face Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday.

“We expect Blackburn to be our toughest test. They have an experienced coach and a great record in the league. It will be a challenging game.

“We have to improve some things and we don’t have a lot of time to work. We have to process quickly the information.”

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