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Veljko Paunovic embraces ‘super talented’ Michael Olise but demands improvement

Reading v Nottingham Forest – Sky Bet Championship – Madejski Stadium
(Image credit: Steve Parsons)

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic praised “super talented” midfielder Michael Olise for spearheading his side’s 2-0 Sky Bet Championship victory over 10-man Nottingham Forest.

Forest were numerically depleted early in the first half when midfielder Ryan Yates handled on the goal line and was sent off. Lucas Joao, Reading’s top scorer, slotted in the penalty for his 14th goal of the season.

Michael Morrison nodded home eight minutes into the second half as Reading eased to a fourth successive match without defeat.

Olise, the 18-year-old Frenchman, played a role in both goals – providing the free-kick delivery that led to the penalty and then a corner for Morrison’s header.

“Michael is super talented. He had a very good game,” Paunovic said. “When the team plays well, individuals will pop up and show their talent.

“Everyone else had solid performances, everyone else had their moments.

“We acknowledge Michael’s talent but he also has to keep learning. He still needs to grow. He still has things that he can implement in the future and be an even better player.

“This is why I encourage him not to get content with what he is right now but to go on and show what he can be.

“We all see huge potential in him. It’s not good for him to think that he has it done it, he must stay humble and focused.”

Reading were allowed fans back at the Madejski Stadium for the first time in nine months and 2,000 of them warmly welcomed Paunovic and the home players.

“I’m feeling great – for winning and having the fans back,” Paunovic said. “And for playing good football and making everyone remember this day as a special moment.

“Getting a win with such a solid performance is a fantastic event for today. I’m very happy because our team have been recovering their form.

“We are now consolidating and are having to due to physical issues that some players are having to deal with.

“The penalty definitely changed the game in our favour but we had a few more opportunities that we should have converted.

“We lost our focus a bit but we addressed that at half-time and fixed it.”

Forest have now not won for five matches – and they have failed to score in any of them.

“It was always going to be very difficult after the sending-off,” manager Chris Hughton said.

“Especially against a team like Reading who are in such good form and a team that uses the spaces so well.

“The two biggest disappointments are the goals that we conceded.

“With the penalty, it was a good ball into the box but one that we should have dealt with.

“It put Ryan (Yates) in a difficult position and he had to make an instinctive decision. But no real blame attributed to him.

“At 1-0, we were still in the game. And what you least need to do is concede from a set-play.

“If it’s in general play and with the man advantage that they have got and they wear you down, you probably might expect that.

“But to concede from a corner was disappointing.

“But this was all after a start in which we probably had the best chance. This is an area where we’ve found it very difficult lately.”