Royals in seventh heaven

Image: McDermott: Reading making late charge for automatic spot

Reading boss Brian McDermott praised his team after they claimed their seventh straight win over Scunthorpe.

Royals hitting form at the right time to make late push

Reading boss Brian McDermott praised his team after they claimed their seventh straight win over Scunthorpe. Shane Long opened the scoring and then won the penalty which Ian Harte converted to seal the win. Alan Knill's team could not build on their shock 4-1 win over QPR at the weekend and were not able to overcome the in-form Royals. Reading now lie in fifth spot - just three points behind second-placed Cardiff - and McDermott said: "It was a great result and we're absolutely delighted. "Scunthorpe played some good football in the first half but we bossed the game after the break and probably deserved to win.

Big wins

"It's been a decent week but to get three points at Nottingham Forest on Saturday and Scunthorpe is a good few days for us. They were big wins." There was an air of resignation among the Glanford Park faithful at the final whistle but the jubilant Royals supporters headed back to Berkshire dreaming of a top-flight return. McDermott has fashioned an impressive, vibrant team and they have built up a head of steam at just the right time. The Royals boss, who reserved special praise for his goalscorers, added: "From the moment I took the job I've been positive and tried to enjoy every minute of it and try and win games rather than draw them. "That's not going to change. We bought Ian for £70,000 and what a fantastic bargain. "He's got 10 goals now and is a real top guy.
Strikers
"Shane was quiet in the first half and in the second half we asked our strikers to give us a lift. "Shane did that and he scored the first goal and won the penalty for the second goal. "He's just a terrific player." Reading showed no little character to ride out the first-half storm where Scunthorpe posed the greater goal threat and created a series of decent openings, with striker Joe Garner at the hub of their best moves. However, they faded badly after the restart and now face a massive clash against relegation rivals Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday. Knill said: "Up to the first goal it was even and I thought we played pretty well in the first half. "We played OK but didn't really push on and it looked like we were waiting for something to happen. "The first goal killed us and the penalty straight after meant it was game over." Yet Knill is refusing to throw in the towel just yet. He added: "We just need to stop making mistakes at the back."

Around Sky