BRIAN McDERMOTT admitted it was “job done” after his Reading side secured a narrow 1-0 victory over Rotherham United on Tuesday night.
A first league goal of the season for Hal Robson-Kanu on 66 minutes was enough to help the side record a first triumph in the Championship since a success over Bristol City by the same scoreline back on January 2 – some seven games ago.
It was always going to be difficult following up the exploits of Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on a freezing night at Madejski Stadium against a United side who are currently languishing in the relegation zone.
And it looked for long periods to be a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show as the Millers tried to embroil their opponents in a scrap.
But in producing a tidy finish following good work from Deniss Rakels and Yann Kermorgant, Robson-Kanu was to rid the prospect of Reading being held to a third successive goalless draw in the league.
“It was a really tough game,” said McDermott.
“They (Rotherham) made it really difficult, as we would expect, and a moment of class won us the game.
“It was important to win, obviously. It is important to get to where we need to get to and clean sheets help, they really do, so it is a good night for us.
“It wasn’t a great spectacle I can imagine, but it was a great spectacle on Saturday – it wasn’t today, but we have come out on the right side of the result, which is really important.”
The Royals manager went on to say the contest was not one for the “connoisseur”, but was satisfied after his side bagged a welcome win against visitors who were more physical than pretty.
He added: “With the Championship that is the nature of the beast.
“There is 46 games and you will have games like that, and in those games previously we have come out on the wrong side of the result.
“Tonight we have come out on the right side of it, which is most important, so it is job done.”
McDermott was also encouraged by the performance of Yann Kermorgant, who had to put in a shift at both ends of the field, and the impact of Rakels, who again impressed when stepping up off the bench.
The January arrival had only been on the field a matter of seconds before he was helping lay on the winning goal.
“He (Rakels) can score goals as well, so we just need to bed him in slowly and he is a great kid.
“(Kermorgant) has given us everything. He is great in the air and is winning headers and winning headers defensively as well.
“There was a lot of throws that have gone in the box and he, Paul (McShane) and Coops (Jake Cooper) won big headers tonight, so that (first goal for Reading) will come.
“He was upset with the volley and he thought he should have scored from the volley, but that will come.
“He has always scored goals.”
Shutting out United was the fourth clean sheet Royals have recorded in their last five fixtures, while they have also kept the door firmly shut at the back too in their past three league outings.
“I think it is important to build from the back,” added McDermott.
“We have done that here in the past and we want to build a side which keeps clean sheets, is solid, doesn’t concede and we have done that again.
“The boys have stood up to Rotherham and it was a difficult night, but we have come through it and I’m delighted with the boys’ resilience.”
Reading will be looking to build on a run of three games unbeaten in the Championship when they are guests of another struggling side, basement boys Charlton Athletic, on Saturday (3pm).
Doubts, however, remain over the fitness of Matej Vydra, who missed out on Tuesday night with a hamstring problem, and Danny Williams.
The midfielder also remains sidelined with a hamstring injury he picked up during the 0-0 draw with Wolves on February 6.