Manager Lee Johnson praised the resilience of his improving Bristol City team after seeing their unbeaten record extend to 10 matches with a 1-0 win over Reading at Ashton Gate.
The only goal of a closely-fought game came after 12 minutes when Niclas Eliasson’s cross from the right found Famara Diedhiou unmarked to head home from eight yards.
City have not been beaten since the opening day of the season but they were pushed all the way by a Reading side unlucky not to take a point on the balance of play.
Yakou Meite, in the first half, and substitute Lucas Joao at the death were denied by brilliant Dan Bentley saves as the visitors impressed going forward.
Johnson admitted: “It wasn’t a classic performance but we have had a really draining week and on the back of two tough away draws I was really proud of the players.
“We needed to win after three draws on trot and, knowing the importance of that, the lads forgot to play at times.
“Dan Bentley was brilliant and came to our rescue at times, but every member of the team had to work really hard against a club who have spent a lot and have some excellent individual players.”
Johnson also praised the contribution of experienced Wales defender Ashley Williams, describing him as a father figure to some of those around him.
He added: “When Ashley came to us I assured him that if I thought his legs had gone I would tell him. That certainly isn’t the case and he has been a real leader for us.
“There were a lot of young players out there and in a way he is the daddy we rely on to help them with his experience.”
Reading are now winless in six league matches, losing five of them, and have dropped into the bottom three.
Boss Jose Gomes said: “We have to start taking our chances. That is all it will take to improve results because again the performance was good.
“We had a good opportunity alone on the goalkeeper in the first half and when you don’t score in those situations it is difficult.
“I felt we were the better team in the second half, but again we have not made the most of our opportunities.
“Their goal was disappointing because we played with three centre-backs and had plans for dealing with Diedhiou and Andreas Weimann, who scored with a header in midweek.
“I can only ask our fans, who were so good today, to keep supporting the team in that way. They deserve more and we will do all we can to give it to them.
“The backing of the players is something I feel and we will work together. The encouraging thing is that we are creating clear chances by the way we are playing.”
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