Reading FC manager Paul Ince believes that a late equaliser against Bournemouth was ‘pivotal’ to their upturn in form.

Falling behind early in the first half, a late Tom Ince strike earned the Royals a point at the second-placed Cherries in March, and the team have lost just once since then to haul themselves away from the Championship relegation zone.

Speaking to the media after the breathless 4-4 draw with Swansea City, in which the Royals found themselves 4-1 down with half hour to go, Ince felt that this was a turning point in the season.

He said: “I’ve been a player and when you’re losing its tough. It’s about building confidence and spirit, you have a moment in a season that can switch you, and for us it was equalising against Bournemouth. There was a belief we could beat top teams, we beat Blackburn on the weekend, and it changes.

“That was pivotal. We weren’t poor before that; the lads have been brilliant. They got that extra yard. It’s about standards. I couldn’t get away with it with Fergie [Sir Alex Ferguson] and so they can’t get away with it with me.”


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One man who has been transformed under interim manager Ince is star striker Lucas Joao.

The Angolan international was February Player of the Month for the division and scored twice in the epic encounter with the Swans.

Top scorer last season, Ince believes it is his work rate that his team have improved.

He added: “When you’re in the position we are, we can’t afford luxury players. I won’t allow that to happen. Over the last two games Lucas has upped his game from a work rate point of view and if you work hard, you get your luck and your goals.

“We all know what a great finisher he is but when you’re fighting in this league you’ve got to be accountable, and you’ve got to be responsible. When the players see someone like Lucas working the way he’s working it inspires them to work harder too and that’s the message you’ve got to get across to change the mindset of the players.

“They’ve taken it on really quickly and you can see in where we are now. When I first came here i asked my son what the changing room is like, he said ‘not one bad egg, all unbelievable lads’ and that helps your job then. We’ve all got one common goal and it’s amazing how you can get results from that spirit and togetherness.”