Ruben Selles hails young Reading side after win over Cheltenham

By Sports Desk August 15, 2023

Reading manager Ruben Selles praised the “intensity” of his young players as they edged out Cheltenham 1-0 in League One.

Selles included four teenagers and three 20-year-olds in his starting line-up, with 18-year-old Caylan Vickers creating what turned out to be the winner in the 33rd minute.

Vickers’ mazy run from deep ended with a looping deflection from Cheltenham midfielder Will Ferry that arced over keeper Luke Southwood into his own goal.

It was relegated Reading’s first league win in 16 games across two divisions.

“I’m very proud of the performance that the team put together,” Selles said. “We knew that we had to play with all that intensity and that’s why I made the team selection.

“In the first half especially, we were exactly where we wanted to be. The team showed character, togetherness and the way that we do things here.

“We’ve been talking about the young players during the whole pre-season and they have been working fantastically from the very beginning.

“We have been annoyed with the situation with the club, when trying to get new players. So we have to work with those that we already have and they have showed how good they are.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are 18 or you are 32, you do all the proper things and you have first place in this team.

“We had to make a game plan that would show our identity and I think that we did that.

“We decided to go with the team that can bring more intensity to the game and it is the first time that we win [in the league] this season.

“We go home with that feeling and also that happiness.”

Struggling Cheltenham have lost all four league and cup matches this season, without scoring a goal.

Head coach Wade Elliott said: “I thought we were excellent in the second half.

“I didn’t think that there was a lot in it in the first half but some of the breaks that are going against us are tough, like the own goal.

“But in the second half I was really proud of the performance. They players left absolutely everything out there.

“I’ve just told them in the dressing-room that, as tough as it is, you just have to put yourselves back on the line to be knocked down again.

“So we have to get round each other and support each other. We can feel sorry for ourselves or get ready to go again.

“If we keep putting ourselves up there, the breaks will fall the other way for us.

“We’re creating enough opportunities but it’s the last little bit [the finishing] that was missing tonight. I thought everything else was good.”

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