Paul Ince felt Reading should have been celebrating victory at Barnsley

Posted Sunday, April 03, 2022 by PA

Paul Ince felt Reading should have been celebrating victory at Barnsley

Reading interim manager Paul Ince insists his side deserved more than a point after they were held to a 1-1 draw by relegation rivals Barnsley at Oakwell.

Josh Laurent scored for the second game running to save the Royals from a crucial defeat and keep the gap between themselves and the Reds to five points.

Carlton Morris’ opener in the fifth minute looked set to be the difference between the two sides, but Ince’s men rescued a point in the final 10 minutes thanks to Laurent’s second goal of the season.

The stalemate means Reading remain above the relegation zone with seven games remaining and extends their unbeaten run to three games.

Despite seeing his side fall behind early, Ince praised his players for their belief at the break and the way they fought back to leave with a point.

He said: “We dominated the second half and there was only one team that was going to score and that was us.

“Once we got to 1-1, you are thinking about going for it or taking a point. We decided to go for it.

“We deserved more than a point, we were the best team by far and dominated the game.

“Barnsley is a tough place and they are fighting for their lives like us, but we dealt with them comfortably, apart from the goal. I would have taken a point before we got here.”

Laurent followed up his spectacular strike against Blackburn before the international break with another vital goal.

The Royals boss credited the midfielder for his performance in an unfamiliar role.

“I was going to take him off because it wasn’t one of his best games,” Ince added. “I’ve asked Josh to play in that holding position alongside Danny Drinkwater.

“It was tough for him to be in there because he feels like he wasn’t doing anything, but structurally he was.

“We decided to let him off his leash in the last 20 minutes and he got his goal. He told me this morning he was going to score, but with his head.

“I thought the lads were absolutely brilliant today. Even being 1-0 down we dominated the game and went in at half-time with a lot of belief.”

Failure to hold onto the lead means Barnsley remain adrift, but head coach Poya Asbaghi believes there is confidence left in his team.

“We’ve still got hope,” he said. “If we had won it would have been really good, that’s no secret.

“We’re dependent on what Reading do. It’s not a nice feeling to rely on other results.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure we can get as many points as we can.

“We have seven games left and we’ve been a team that can lose any game, but also a team that can play against any opponent, like Fulham and Middlesbrough. None of them are impossible to win.

“We still have confidence in the team.”


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