Reading manager Ruben Selles urged the club’s fans to end their mid-match protests after the goalless draw with fellow League One strugglers Burton was halted in the first half.

For the second-successive Reading home fixture, the game was held up in the 16th minute as Royals fans threw tennis balls onto the pitch in protest at the running of the club by controversial Chinese owner Dai Yongge.

After a 10-minute delay, the match was restarted – with Burton clinging on throughout for a desperate point mostly thanks to a string of fine saves from goalkeeper Max Crocombe.

“I don’t think that the stoppage affected the momentum of the game,” Selles said.

“I understand the protests, the fans are not happy. But I would like to play the game in a normal format.

“From the meeting before the game, the referee (Sam Purkiss) decided that we would have to come in (to the dressing-rooms) so that it is like another half-time period.

“We needed to adapt and adjust to that. But that’s two games in a row here now and I would not like to get used to that.”

Of the game, Selles said: “The frustration that we had came from not scoring from the chances that we had.

“We created more than enough chances to have won the game.

“We had great situations that we wanted but we need to be more ruthless in the last third. It is a game that we should win.

“I don’t think that Burton had one shot on target or one situation. I don’t think that they had one situation to score a goal.”

Burton are now unbeaten in four matches in all competitions.

“When you come to places like this you have to defend resolutely and stay close as a team,” Burton manager Dino Maamria said.

“It was a really tough game, as we knew it would be, but I thought our players were brilliant.

“We had good moments when we could have made things out of our transition but we couldn’t do it.

“But if you come here and get a clean sheet and a point, you take it.

“The games come thick and fast but the players have stepped up as a group lately. You can see the resilience and mentality that we are trying to create.”

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.”

Ruben Selles saluted his red-hot Reading young guns after a stunning 4-0 Carabao Cup win over Millwall at The Den.

Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan’s double and late strikes from Charlie Savage and Mamadi Camara fired the League One side to a shock victory against their misfiring Championship opponents in the competition’s opening round.

Former Southampton boss Selles picked a youthful side with an average age of just 21 and hailed his players’ dynamism after a memorable night in south London.

“The boys did an amazing job from the first minute until the end of the game,” he said.

“Our recruitment has been good, and [the young players] have been trying to adjust themselves to the system.

“The way we play suits a lot of them – the dynamic football, aggressive on the pressure and very good in transitions.

“Today for us, everything came together – we have an identity, we know what we want and it doesn’t matter who plays for us: we want to try and put our stamp on the game.

“It’s good to see the young players are able to make that performance today.”

The Royals grabbed the lead in the very first minute when Ehibhatiomhan poked home over Bartosz Bialkowski.

And they seized their second at the start of the second half when the Nigerian striker rifled in from close range.

Former Manchester United star Savage grabbed his first goal for the club with a fine free-kick into the top corner before Camara’s late tap-in inflicted more misery on a near full-strength Millwall.

Lions Boss Gary Rowett, whose team had beaten fellow Championship promotion-chasers Middlesbrough 1-0 in their season opener at the weekend, said: “It was more disappointing than frustrating.

“We went quite strong after the result at the weekend and off the back of that, we wanted to win another game and roll it forward.

“I thought it might be better to try and get a bit of momentum but that didn’t go well.

“I thought Reading thoroughly deserved the win – they were far better than us, they ran with more intensity and looked like they wanted to fight and play for each other more than we did.

“We got what we deserved and they got what they deserved, which is a cracking win for them.”

Ruben Selles has told his Southampton side they must beat relegation rivals Nottingham Forest on Monday.

Saints sit bottom of the Premier League table heading into the clash with Steve Cooper’s Forest who are also in the relegation zone.

And Selles wants his side to embrace the pressure of such a crucial game as they look to retain their top-flight status.

“I think we have been very realistic of our situation from the beginning and the players have also been realistic, they put their thought and honesty into us,” he said.

“It’s a must win, we know what sort of game it is. But again we talk always about habits and the habit for us is to play with that pressure on ourselves.

“Because in the last five games we talk about if we win one game then we’ll be back in the battle and we’re trying to do that with better performances and sometimes they are not that good and we need to do exactly the same in those terms.”

Victory in Monday’s clash would be a first for Southampton since March 4.

They trail 17th-placed Leeds by six points and face the prospect of playing in the Sky Bet Championship for the first time since 2012.

“We need to go into Monday night and know it’s an important game for us and go for it from the very beginning,” Selles added.

“This is the mentality and this is what I want the team to show every single game and that’s why we want to fight.

“This is the competitiveness of the Premier League we are still there. We didn’t have the best April but it is not only difficult for us, it is difficult for everybody.”

Ruben Selles insists he is not overlooking Southampton’s January signings due to a lack of quality after his side slid closer to Premier League relegation.

Paul Onuachu and Mislav Orsic were left out of Saints’ squad for Thursday evening’s damaging 1-0 loss to Bournemouth, while £22million club record signing Kamaldeen Sulemana was restricted to 14 minutes from the bench.

Defeat to the Cherries at St Mary’s left bottom club Southampton six points from safety with only five games to go.

Manager Selles, who replaced the sacked Nathan Jones in February, pointed to the size of his squad as he refuted suggestions he does not rate the recent arrivals.

“Mislav was in the squad last week and Onuachu was also in the squad last week, I don’t think it is the same ones (being left out),” said the Spaniard.

“I don’t think it is a lack of quality, it is about decisions.

“I need to make decisions and then I have to give to you some comment on that. It is not about the quality of the boys.”

Ghana winger Sulemana has struggled to nail down a regular starting role following his move from Rennes, while £15.8m former Genk striker Onuachu has not started in the league since February.

Croatia winger Orsic, who cost a reported £6m from Dinamo Zagreb, has played only six minutes for Saints in the top flight and not featured at all under Selles.

“I will not evaluate the board,” replied the coach, when asked if the club had bought players who are not good enough.

“I have a big squad with 30 or 31 players in the first team. And then of course we talk always about the players who are not there.

“I just know that I have to manage a big squad.

“We can defend any decision with some different parameters but the reality is that because we have that big a squad we will always talk about the ones that are not in the squad.”

Southampton’s uphill survival mission continues on Sunday with a daunting trip to Champions League-chasing Newcastle.

Selles is hopeful captain James Ward-Prowse will be fit to lead the team at St James’ Park after being forced off by illness at half-time on a soggy south-coast evening.

“He wanted to play but with the weather conditions that we had during the first half it was too much for him, so he ran out of energy,” Selles said of the England midfielder, who had a sore throat.

“I need to speak with the doctor. I think he will be OK but with those things the doctor needs to let me know.”

Marcus Tavernier’s deflected strike moved Bournemouth seven points clear of the drop zone, while VAR denied Southampton substitute Che Adams a late equaliser due to offside.

Adams’ 89th-minute finish initially looked set to compound Gary O’Neil’s frustration after the visitors were denied a second-half penalty when Jan Bednarek handled Ryan Christie’s cross.

“I don’t see any difference between that and some of the ones we’ve had given against us this year,” said the Cherries boss.

“His arm’s a long way from his body, the ball’s going into a dangerous area, I can’t see why.

“To have it dismissed so quickly…I remember sitting in our dugout when they go against us for ages waiting, they’re watching eight different camera angles being played in slow motion.

“This one, maybe an eight-second check and then we’re told it’s clear. And then I see the replay and I cannot believe that’s not been given as a penalty.”

Ruben Selles vowed Southampton will “fight until the very last point” after his side slipped closer to Premier League relegation following a damaging 1-0 defeat to Bournemouth.

Marcus Tavernier’s second-half winner at St Mary’s left the the division’s bottom club six points from safety with five games to go.

Beleaguered Saints thought they had snatched a dramatic draw but Che Adams’ 89th-minute effort was disallowed for offside following VAR intervention.

A painful defeat to their south-coast rivals inflicted a club-record 11th home league loss of the season on Southampton, with lingering hopes of survival fading fast.

“We are going to go and try to put a performance in every game to try to win, and we are going to do it until the very end,” said Selles.

“I know it’s only five games to play. But we are professionals and we will fight until the very last point.

“I know now it’s hard, I know the table is looking like it’s a difficult one but we are going to give it a try.”

Southampton lacked attacking thrust and urgency for much of a miserable evening played in soggy conditions.

Aside from Adams’ disallowed effort, the home side rarely threatened an equaliser following Tavernier’s deflected effort in the 50th minute.

“It’s a disappointing night, we came with the intention to put in a good performance and we obviously didn’t,” said Selles.

“Some of the things that can go against us, they went against us.

“Even the offside goal, it’s a couple of centimetres but it is offside. It was a hard night.”

Southampton lost captain James Ward-Prowse for the second half due to a sore throat and he will be assessed before Sunday’s visit to high-flying Newcastle.

Bournemouth moved on to 36 points – seven clear of the drop zone – following a significant win over their near neighbours.

Cherries boss Gary O’Neil initially feared substitute Adams was onside but felt his team were due a favourable VAR call.

O’Neil insists Bournemouth still have work to do to ensure safety following a third consecutive away success.

“It’s a big win for us, of course,” he said. “The performance was pleasing. I thought we were by far the better side today.

“The lads are recovering for Sunday (at home to Leeds), there’s no celebration, there’s not talk of points tallies. I can easily see 36 points going down this year. We won’t be resting.”

Speaking about the disallowed goal, he said: “We were due one to go our way. We’ve had some tight ones go against us.

“There were a few screams on the bench when it was ruled out. I didn’t think it was going to be.

“We had some footage in front of us which wasn’t clear. That’s a horrible moment as a coach when you’re sat there and waiting for someone to decide.

“But the players didn’t deserve to suffer that today, so pleased that we had a VAR check go our way for the first time this season, I think.”

Match-winner Tavernier limped off 12 minutes from time with a hamstring issue.

“He seems to think it isn’t too serious,” said O’Neil. “Hopefully it was just a touch of cramp.”

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