16 September 2023

Ruben Selles proud of Reading after ending difficult week with win over Bolton

16 September 2023

Reading manager Ruben Selles praised his side’s character – on and off the pitch – after they secured a 2-1 comeback victory over Bolton in League One.

The Trotters took the lead through top-scorer Dion Charles in the 20th minute, straight after the game had resumed after a three-minute break.

The delay had been caused by home fans throwing tennis balls on to the pitch in protest at the running of the club by Chinese owner Dai Yongge and the subsequent three-point English Football League deduction in midweek.

Reading dominated much of the game and were rewarded towards the end, when Charlie Savage levelled and substitute Caylon Vickers snatched the late winner.

Wanderers also had defender Eoin Toal sent off for a second yellow card.

“I’m really proud of the players,” Selles said.

“They have showed me that not only as footballers but also throughout the entire week. They have just focused on this game and on the things that we can affect. It is important to get the win and also the way we do it.

“The whole squad has all committed to our task and, for me, it was as much about the victory as the team spirit today.

“There is a big feeling of togetherness in the dressing room. That’s why we can get through everything that is put in front of us. Every time they step on the pitch, they want to make a difference.”

Of the fans’ actions and Charles’ immediate strike afterwards, Selles said: “We knew that the protest was coming. I don’t want to make excuses for it (the goal).

“It was more a disconnection from us, we’d had problems in that area before. But the fans have been supporting the team and me personally in every sort of situation that we have been in.”

Bolton dropped from second place to seventh after the defeat.

“I’m absolutely baffled as to how we ended up losing the game,” manager Ian Evatt said.

“We had so many critical chances and the game should have been out of sight for us at half-time.

“You can’t afford to miss those opportunities – one, maybe, but the two, three, four that we missed just isn’t OK.

“And away from home, if you don’t take those opportunities, you give the opposition a little bit of sugar and galvanise them and their crowd.

“Then you get a shot from distance (Savage’s goal) and that changes the entire momentum of the game.

“Then, we didn’t wrestle it back. We wobbled and we conceded a second. It’s absolutely crazy that we lose that game when we had created so many chances.

“We spoke about it in the week (Reading’s points deduction). When you get those, it creates a sort of siege mentality that they’re going to have.”

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