Russell Slade’s side earned a fourth consecutive home victory – continuing his perfect start at CCS – as City claimed all three points against Nigel Adkins’ Reading.
“It wasn’t a classic for us.” Russell said. “In the first fifteen minutes we didn’t set our stall out as well as I wanted to so we had to grind our way into the game. That’s exactly what we did.
“We knew we could pose a threat from set plays today. They’ve conceded goals from set plays and we felt we could be a force – it turned out to be that way. Of course, we got the penalty just before half time and things looked really rosy. The second period was perhaps not the way we wanted it to go and it was disappointing that they got back into the game - we wanted a solid professional performance, a clean sheet and on top of that we missed two or three really good opportunities to extend our lead.”
Michael Hector pulled one back with ten minutes to go, his low drive from the edge of the box following an away corner giving travelling fans hope - but City held firm, Russell adding: “The biggest disappointment is the goal – if we had won by two today and they hadn’t scored in the second half it would have been job done. The only negative for me is the set play. Of course you want to go on and score three, four or five but credit to Reading, they got stuck in well in the second half.”
Championship games come thick and fast with visit to Watford up next for Slade’s men before Rotherham come to CCS.
“From my point of view there are two things we can do” Russell explained. “We may look at the personnel and make changes or we may change the shape or system.
“It’s something we need to work on, adding the steel and being strong. Sometimes, away from home it isn’t about playing the beautiful game - it’s about digging in and putting bodies on the line like we did at Birmingham. We need to create opportunities as well – unfortunately at Birmingham we missed them.
“It’s a cliché but we will take each game as it comes at home – hopefully we can get the right result.”