Same old faces please Nigel
BEING able to name the same side for a fifth successive game proved crucial to Reading’s victory at Millwall according to Royals boss Nigel Adkins.
Pavel Pogrebnyak put Reading ahead just before half-time, having capitalised on an error from Lions keeper Stephen Bywater.
Alex Pearce made it 2-0 on 72 minutes and Danny Williams made sure of the result with a tidy finish moments later.
And Adkins believes the ability to name a consistent line-up has played a huge role in his side’s up-turn in form.
“It really helps and it was a great workman-like performance,” said Adkins.
“The lads worked extremely hard, there was a good shape about ourselves and we scored some good goals.
“We always knew it was going to be a difficult game coming to Millwall, history will tell you that.
“You could see the togetherness of everybody which is great and it was a good three points at a very difficult place to come.
“Everyone is working really hard which has been demonstrated on a consistent basis for the last few weeks.
“At times we have had up to ten players injured so now it is really pleasing that we have been able to pick the same team for five games running and put a real consistent string of performances together.”
On three minutes Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy flung up a left hand to keep out DJ Campbell’s ten-yard snapshot.
The Royals went ahead on 39 minutes when Bywater dropped Chris Gunter’s high ball inside the box and Pogrebnyak smashed home having shifted the ball onto his left foot.
On 72 minutes Pearce volleyed home to double Reading’s advantage after Bywater had done well to tip Pogrebnyak’s close-range header away.
Four minutes later Williams made the points safe by breaking through the Millwall backline before slotting into the far corner.
The Reading midfielder was denied a second goal nine minutes from time when Bywater got down well to palm his low strike away.
The result leaves Millwall one place above the relegation zone, and manager Ian Holloway, who ended the match with five strikers on the pitch, was left to rue a lack of structure.
“That’s obviously the feeling we have had here before I came, and it’s amazing how quickly it came back,” said Holloway.
“For me I can take some important things from that. In life, or football, you cannot do anything without structure.We need phase one, phase two and so on. We ended up with five strikers on the pitch and I’ll never do that again because we’re not ready for that.
“I’m going to have to take that on the chin. I went to try and get back in the game and that is why the score became as bad as it ended. The longer you go without scoring a goal the more important the next goal becomes.
“Reading were better than us, but they weren’t three goals better. It’s pretty demoralising when you think your going to counter attack but then the goalkeeper drops the ball and it ends up in the back of your net.”
POACHED: Reading striker Pavel Pogrebnyak makes Millwall keeper Stephen Bywater pay for dropping a routine cross
GLORY: Alex Pearce celebrates