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Reaction: Reading 2 Blues 3

It was an impressive a win as we've had this season and a huge step forward,

Pep Clotet.

Pep Clotet's thoughts after seeing his side collect a deserved three points at the Madejski Stadium...

Pep Clotet's view on the nature of the win and the performance...

"It was an impressive a win as we've had this season and a huge step forward. The fact that we had Fran Villalba, Marc Roberts unavailable and we lost two players early in the game. I am very proud of that performance. We knew it would be very difficult because Reading at home are very strong with a lot of confidence from their last game. We knew we had to be very good with the ball or they would be breaking on us all the time. The team did very well, finishing on almost 60 per cent possession and 455 passes. I think second-half when Jacques Maghoma and Jeremie Bela started to play very wide the whole midfield opened up and Josh McEachran, Jude Bellingham and Ivan Sunjic started to dictate. We had a spell in the second-half when we could have had even more goals. I saw a Birmingham side today that didn’t sit deep, kept playing football and tried to keep getting more goals. It’s a massive credit to the players"

Pep Clotet on handing Josh McEachran his first Blues start - and first start of any sort since February...

"It helped for two reasons. We wanted to have an offensive midfielder to Ivan. And that allowed Jude to go up the pitch, where we think he can be more effective.
We have been preparing Jude (for that) and now I think he knows enough about the league, about the team, to step in there. We thought it would suit him very well. Josh helped us massively on our build ups because if you compare it to Millwall, where we struggled a little bit to get that ball from our back, to the midfield and forward, he had that role and he did it very, very well."

Pep Clotet on the impact first-half substitutes Wes Harding and Jacques Maghoma had...

"We had a lot of options for Wes. We know it's not the best position for Wes to go to left centre-back. We considered playing him right-back, moving Maxime Colin to the left and getting Kristian Pedersen at left centre-back. But at the end of the day it was about solving one problem, not more. It was not easy for Wes, he had to adapt to that position but he did fantastic. It was a difficult task because the two strikers were very physical, but he anticipated very well, he held his position very well and worked very well with Harlee Dean. It just proves that everyone can contribute whenever the moment comes, that they are ready. Jacques, I felt, did very well at Huddersfield Town as he did here. He was a big threat. He's a completely different player than Dan Crowley (who he replaced). But that's the beauty of this game. He was able to express himself, being himself, and he helped us a lot to create many problems to Reading."

Pep Clotet on Alvaro Gimenez's crucial goal, Blues third...

"Look, we are a team that when we score one goal we want the second one; when we score the second one we want the third one. Possibly - depends on how the game goes - we are flexible and versatile. And the way you go, chasing a goal, can be a little bit different depending on the scoreline. But I was very pleased Alvaro scored because strikers, it's very important for them. And it's about us providing good training, confidence and good play for the chances to come. Jukey, as well, when he came on (for Josh McEachran) was very good. He read the play well and he almost scored a fantastic goal with that shot on the turn."

On Jeremie Bela's goal...

"Bela is very good on this kind of free-kick. Craig Gardner has done a tireless job taking him and a few players after training to work on free-kicks so wherever it is on the pitch, we know who is on it."

On the extent of Jake Clarke-Salter's shoulder injury...

“It looked bad, he got his shoulder dislocated. If our staff could have put shoulder put back in then probably we could have assessed to keep him on the pitch. But it was impossible to relocate the shoulder, so we had to take him to hospital. The shoulder has been relocated now, he is more calm, he was too tense to do it here. Now it’s about inflammation, seeing the pain and I obviously hope it’s going to be all right. It’s too early for me to say because I don’t have the full assessment. But I do want to say thank you not only to our medical staff but as well to the medical staff of Reading because their attendance to the player has been very, very good."

On Dan Crowley's minor hamstring injury...

"He felt very tight on the hamstring and probably thought ‘I don’t want that to go more’ so he felt he didn’t want to push it. It’s too early to say now, tomorrow when the inflammation goes down we can assess it. I am very optimistic when it comes to injuries, I hope it will be alright, hopefully it is a little bit like Fran, But we will see more because it is too early to say.”

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