MX23RW : Monday, June 21 00:43:55| >> :600:1243908:1243908:
Apr 5, 2021 at 3pm UK at Madejski Stadium
ReadingReading
3-1
DerbyDerby County
Olise (45+1'), Puscas (57'), Joao (84')
Moore (50'), Laurent (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Lawrence (79')

Veljko Paunovic hails Reading's "maturity and fierceness" in Derby win

Veljko Paunovic hails Reading's
© Reuters
The hosts ended a run of four games without a win.

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic praised the maturity of his players as they maintained their Championship play-off chase with a 3-1 victory over struggling Derby.

Nineteen-year-old Michael Olise gave Reading the lead on the stroke of half-time, with George Puscas increasing the advantage early in the second period.

Although Derby reduced the gap near the end through Tom Lawrence, substitute Lucas Joao pounced for his 22nd goal of the season as Reading ended a run of four matches without a win.

"It was a big result against a hard team," Paunovic said. "It wasn't easy at all but it was a very good performance.

"We showed a lot of maturity and fierceness from the team, which shows that we all understand what an opportunity we have ahead of us.

"We didn't take much to prepare for this, the focus of the team was always there because of the awareness of the moment of the season where we are.

"We all know what we have to put out there. From that perspective, the team is at the best moment that we have been in this season.

"We now have to look to recover the guys that we keep losing because of the injuries.

"This is due to the severity and the intensity of the competition.

"But I was very happy, as I always am, with the performance like today.

"As we look at it, though, we will be taking one game at a time. That is always the way."

Derby remain eight points clear of the relegation zone, although 22nd-placed Rotherham have four games in hand over them.

"We gave away sloppy goals at bad times," Derby manager Wayne Rooney said. "Though I felt that the performance was quite good.

"That's one of the positives that we can take out of the result.

"But we just can't afford to give away those type of goals. We have to make sure that we stay more solid.

"We know that Reading are a good team and have very good attacking players.

"At times, I felt that we dealt with that quite well today. But then we gave away those goals and that was it.

"If we can continue with that sort of performance and become more solid, then we'll be winning more games."

Derby have few fit forwards left to field, with Lee Gregory and Martyn Waghorn among the injured strikers.

But 35-year-old Rooney, England's record goal scorer, said he would not consider playing again.

"No, not at all," Rooney said. "I've had my time as a player and I think that I've made that quite clear."

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Rotherham United manager Paul Warne pictured in January 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
7Reading461913146254870
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
11Millwall461517144752-562
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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