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Ovie Ejaria’s ‘amazing performance’ delights Reading manager Veljko Paunovic

Fulham v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Craven Cottage
(Image credit: Kieran Cleeves)

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic insisted he was not surprised by the quality of Ovie Ejaria’s goals after the midfielder struck twice in his side’s 2-1 win at Fulham.

Ejaria put the Royals on course for victory with a curling shot in the 19th minute and then added a 53rd-minute second with a superb turn and shot.

The 23-year-old’s double strike were his first goals of the season and gave Paunovic’s side the cushion they needed to hold on for victory after Rodrigo Muniz replied for Fulham in the 86th minute.

Paunovic said: “Ovie had an amazing performance. We see that in training many times and we encourage him to do that more often in games.

“Every time we brought the ball to him there was some excitement and he was very clinical in execution. We have to get the ball to him more often.

“It’s difficult to say which was my favourite goal but I’ll say just because of the beauty of the execution the first goal.”

Paunovic praised his side’s resilience in the face of Fulham pressure and insists there is more to come from his side.

He said: “I’m delighted with many things. The result, the performance. The way we ground out the win and three parts. I think there were a lot of pieces that were missing in the past.

“We showed grit, determination, character, composure. We matched them up in defence and executed well in attack.

“There were lots of positives. Last week I said we are starting a fresh beginning of the season and from this point it will only get better.

“The new guys still have to catch up on their fitness. But I have seen this coming. And now we need consistency.”

Fulham manager Marco Silva insisted his side were punished for their failure to make more of several good chances, despite enjoying the majority of possession.

He said: “The stats are there and I think it was clear for everyone that saw the game. But the result is there as well.

“In football you can have all the possession and create so many chances but if you are not clinical enough it can happen.

“We scored one but we conceded two goals. OK the first one was a counter-attack and it’s a good goal from the winger. The second goal we cannot concede in that way.

“At 2-0 it’s more difficult but the commitment, the attitude, the desire to change things was there. I think we were not so happy that the basics that we can’t legislate for were not on the pitch.

“We had the chances in the first 15 minutes, if we had scored it would be different. That’s football, we were not clinical enough and the goalkeeper played well.

“The second half we told our players we will change the score if we don’t concede. But unfortunately we conceded.

“What disappointed me most is the result. Because so many chances. We created a big number of clear chances and we have to be clinical when the chances come.

“We knew they have quality on the ball and if you are not in a good balance and aggressive, they will create problems. We have to be strong, not just create chances, but in our balance, in our physical approach.

“There was nothing wrong with our attitude. But if you make mistakes like we did they can punish you. It’s up to us to be more clinical.”