A late stunner from Josh Laurent sealed a 1-0 win for Paul Ince's Reading against play-off challenging Blackburn Rovers.

Read every word from manager Ince's press conference below.

Ince on the goal

It was an amazing goal. Defensively we were outstanding. It was probably the perfect performance, apart from the chances we missed in the first half. We should have been three or four up at half-time, we need to be more ruthless, and it makes it an easier day for the ticker, but we kept a clean sheet which was very important and a wonder goal from Josh. We defended when we had to defend, and it was so important to get something looking at the results today. With the 12.30 kick offs we knew what we had to do today. We were playing a very good team today who are going for the play-offs so to get a result today was important.

Ince on the game

We started off a bit slow, we were a bit apprehensive. We grew into the game after 15 minutes and were the better side and should have put the game to bed but you’re going into half-time wondering if we’re going to get punished but the lads have got an incredible spirit about them. We’ve had a tough time, a tough week going to Forest and Bournemouth, two top teams and then coming here it’s been a tough week for the lads. We’re down to bare bones, we’ve had Covid, so they put a really good shift this week and if you’d have said to me four points in those three games, I’d have snatched your hand off.

Reading Chronicle:

Ince on fans

The Reading fans played their part in it today. The atmosphere was fantastic. They were our twelfth man today and they spurred the lads on. Momentum changed from team to team, we had times where we thought we were on the back foot and then they were on the back foot. Overall it’s been a great week.

Ince on the importance of the goal

I wouldn’t say season defining, I think we’ve got a long way to go, a massive game in a couple of weeks against Barnsley but the most important thing is that we knew what we needed to do. Now we’ve got a five- point gap but there’s still a long way to go. If you want a 1-0 game and a goal to win it, that was it. I think Thomas is a bit gutted because everyone was talking about his Bournemouth goal and now it has been surpassed by Josh’s.

Ince on Josh Laurent

He reminds me a bit of myself, Josh, with how powerful he is and how he runs. He is an exciting player and if he can add moments like that to his game then he’ll be a top player. He’s a great kid, he’s been out for three/four weeks with an ankle injury but he gives us something different. He gives us the strength in the middle of the park, the pace. I better keep him under wraps for a bit. I thought he over hit it but when I saw the keeper diving for it I thought ‘you don’t dive for them.’

It helped with Swifty being out, and we’ve got Drinks and Andy next to him. He can cover the ground so much and he can break play up and make those forward runs as we’ve seen against Bournemouth. He’s just an all-action Action Man, he does everything so to have him sitting you won’t get the best of the ability that he’s got. He’s got so much energy, I’ve never known someone to run so much, I don’t get it. He’s a good lad, a good character and he’s a nice lad which is important more than anything. He can enjoy his night tonight, but I’ll be back on him from Monday.

Reading Chronicle:

Ince on the three game week

We saw on Tuesday, we outplayed them. From a footballing point of view we outplayed them. I was disappointed we came away with one point I wanted three points. We saw a different side of Reading today where we had to dig in, put bodies on the line, head balls, fight. Forest was disappointing as second half we capitulated, it was back to the old Reading team, but there’s a sense of fight now, a sense of togetherness and a sense of spirit. Barnsley’s going to be tough because it’s not going to be the best pitch, but we’ve got something going now, we’ve got momentum now and if we can keep that going, we can hopefully be ok.

Ince on squad improvement

They’ve got to understand that every team has a structure, and you play from a structure. You don’t play gung-ho and start running all over the pitch and not sticking to your positions. We were leaving too many gaps against Forest, they went 2-0 down against Forest and start chasing games and go back to the old Reading so it was a learning curve for them. You look at the three games, they’re tough games, we haven’t got a big squad, so it’s been tough to go to Forest, Bournemouth and today so to pick up four points is good for the lads.

Reading Chronicle:

Ince on injuries

We’ve got eight games to go so we haven’t got time to worry about little niggly injuries we stick together to get the points to stay in this league.

I’m not sure what the situation is with Andy’s knee. Hopefully it’s not as bad as we think, we’re lucky it’s come at a two-week international break so we might have more time to get him right as he is pivotal to what we want to do in the middle of the park. Credit to Swifty, he’s only trained for a couple of days and put a shift in and it’s good to have him back.