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Reading boss Veljko Paunovic lauds impact of Andy Carroll and Danny Drinkwater

Barnsley v Reading – Sky Bet Championship – Oakwell
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic hailed the contribution of Andy Carroll and Danny Drinkwater after their 3-2 Sky Bet Championship win at Swansea.

The former England pair notched their first Reading goals as the Royals claimed a first win since being deducted six points for breaching English Football League financial regulations.

Paunovic said: “Andy and Danny are very important with their experience, presence, composure and qualities.

“We needed a performance from them like this and to score goals.

“To help their confidence but also to create the atmosphere for the team, of cohesion and to build a new momentum for us.

“We gave a statement that we are never going to give up. We are all in this together and we are going to fight.

“The team performance brought us this great result in a very important moment, not just for this season but in the club’s history.

“We said this week we needed a win as soon as possible after the points deduction.

“It came in the last game of the week when we had three games but it’s well received and on time.”

Carroll put Reading 2-1 ahead on the half-hour mark after Tom Dele-Bashiru had instantly cancelled out Jamie Paterson’s third-minute opener for Swansea.

It was the former Liverpool and Newcastle striker’s first goal since January.

Drinkwater ended an even longer wait to get on the scoresheet after Ryan Manning had levelled for Swansea, the former England midfielder on target for the first time since scoring for Chelsea in December 2017.

Paunovic added: “We are a team who like to have the ball and it was taken away from us but we were prepared for that.

“We had a plan and defensive structure and the attitude was perfect.

“With Andy in the team we can now play the ball long and we have an alternative in our game in the final third.”

Swansea’s defeat – their first to Reading in 17 games – also saw them lose an unbeaten home record stretching back to August.

Boss Russell Martin said: “It’s nowhere near good enough. Some of the stuff on the ball was great but I think maybe we fell into the trap that it was going to be really easy.

“The lack of intensity out of possession has really hurt us.

“We’ve conceded three goals where we’ve let people back inside the pitch which doesn’t happen usually.

“That is seriously frustrating and I’ve told the players they should be hurt by that. It feels like we’ve beaten ourselves.”

Swansea defender Brandon Cooper, meanwhile, has signed a new deal until the summer of 2024, with the option for a further 12 months.

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