Ruben Selles acknowledges Joel Pereira’s contribution to a key Reading victory

By Sports Desk March 29, 2024

Reading manager Ruben Selles praised Portuguese goalkeeper Joel Pereira for his superb first-half display in the 1-0 Sky Bet League One victory over mid-table Northampton.

Pereira, formerly deputy to David Button in the Reading goal, kept his side in contention in the opening period with a series of fine saves to thwart the lively Cobblers attackers.

It set up the platform for home substitute Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan to secure the victory in the 65th minute with a superb curling shot from the edge of the penalty area.

“We made a change and Joel is fighting for that position [in goal] with everything he has,” Selles said.

“He was really good today, he kept us in the game in those [first half] moments.

“But I still don’t really think I got a big performance out of the team today, I just got a massive result.

“We did not get a massive performance, it was not our best game – nowhere near to being good enough from any of us.

“It was an equal game, both teams had chances. Northampton are a good team, a very solid team, but I expected a little bit more from us. I think that we can do better.

“Don’t misunderstand me, I will take a victory any day. The thing is that, in some games in the season, we played much better than we did today – and we didn’t get anything at all.

“Today was not our best – as a team, as a collective. But at least we were consistent enough to get the three points.”

Northampton have won only once in their past seven outings and boss Jon Brady said: “I’m quite pleased with the performance but the result is the disappointing thing today.

“In all our pre-game prep, I haven’t seen a team come here like we have and press Reading from the front. And the success we got from it.

“We had some really got chances in that first half. Sam [Hoskins] has two great efforts and their keeper makes two excellent saves. It’s fine margins today, isn’t it?

“We defended well, we pressed really well and we probably created more chances than we have in any game for a long while. Unfortunately, (we) just haven’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“And their goal was a little easy. We had worked so well all day, then they score.

“And the boys all know it. They’re just really disappointed about the result because of the way that we played.

“When Louis [Appere] went in one on one in the first half, he’s hit the target.

“But, again, their keeper has done really well. On other occasions, those sort of chances go in.”

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