Reading boss Veljko Paunovic pledged to keep Michael Olise’s feet on the ground after the youngster enhanced his growing reputation with a stunning winner against QPR.
Substitute Olise, on his 19th birthday, scored with a superb 89th-minute strike to give the Royals a 1-0 victory at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
It was his third goal of the season but Paunovic insisted Olise is far from the finished article.
Paunovic said: “He is on the verge of becoming a fantastic player but I will always encourage him and not put in jeopardy his development – because I believe he still needs to develop.
“Michael is young and a very special talent. We are aware that we have a very talented player.
“Our job is to keep his feet on the ground and keep giving him what he needs to develop.
“The most important thing is that everyone has played for the team, including Michael, and he has delivered for the club and fans with that fantastic strike.
“We are going to help and support him and give him everything he needs. There is a long way to go and it’s important we stay humble about him.”
Reading recently endured a four-game losing run but have since got back on track, winning three of their past five matches.
“We have played well in the last five games. We are looking to get consistency in our game,” Paunovic said.
“Today’s win helps us create another momentum and we are looking to move forward.
“It’s nice to have a team and a group who work together with an amazing spirit and fight and play every game until the end.”
A crowd of 2,000 fans saw the game – the first time R’s supporters have been able to watch their team in person since coronavirus restrictions were imposed in March.
Their frustration was clear at the final whistle as QPR dropped to 19th in the Sky Bet Championship table after winning just one of their past eight matches.
But manager Mark Warburton believes his side are better than their recent run of results suggests.
“Sometimes you have these runs where it doesn’t quite go your way and I think at the moment it’s not going our way,” Warburton said.
“In the first half I thought we looked a good team against a very good Reading team. We didn’t feel threatened.
“We’ve lacked a little bit of quality, maybe, on the final ball or final cross.
“It’s frustrating. I could sit here and bemoan the fine margins of the game, but the fact is it reads 1-0 Reading.”
Olise’s goal came after Ilias Chair had hit the inside of a post.
Warburton said: “If Ilias’ shot had gone in there I think that would have been game over. I don’t think they would have bounced back from that.
“Their guy has then hit it from 28-29 yards into the bottom corner. It was a world-class finish, but I don’t think my boys deserved that.
“The biggest disappointment is not to give the fans three points when we had them back in the stadium. I thought they were tremendous.”
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