READING FC midfielder John Swift insisted Royals’ hopes of Championship survival do not hang on Nelson Oliveira.

The Portuguese hitman bagged his second goal in three games since his loan move from Norwich City with a cracking winner against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday night.

The 27-year-old striker – donning a protective facemask – controlled a scintillating 60-yard pass from Swift and curled a delightful strike from the edge of the box beyond Blackburn’s David Raya.

Oliveira’s vital goal four minutes from time fired Royals out of the Championship relegation zone after Jose Gomes’ side had squandered a 1-0 lead when Amari’I Bell cancelled out Swift’s first-half opener.

Supporters were quick to hail Oliveira’s crucial contribution since he moved to Berkshire last month.

However, Swift insisted: “He’s not the only striker we can rely on.

“We have some very good strikers in the squad. We have Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Yakou Meite can play there, and we also have Danny Loader coming through.

“But Nelson did really well, especially after the injury to his face. When he did get his chance, which was really the only clear chance he did get, you could see the quality he has and he put it away.

“That’s what we want from our strikers, especially given the time of the goal and the fact we’d just conceded.”

Reading Chronicle:

High fives between masked striker Nelson Oliveira and Yakou Meite after the victory against Blackburn Rovers.

The win over Rovers made it four games unbeaten for Jose Gomes as Royals look to turn their dismal start to the campaign around.

But Swift insisted Royals were less than happy about the performance in general.

He continued: “We didn’t perform how we wanted to in the first half, but after a bit of am Andy Yiadom special down the right, we got the first goal and went into half-time relieved.

“My goal gave everyone a lot of confidence going into the second half. We knew we couldn’t take our foot off of the gas, but it gave us something to keep hold of.

Reading Chronicle:

John Swift put Royals ahead.

“It was a tough game. The last two games we’ve had less possession than we’ve had since Jose came in. At the end of the game it was more relief than anything.”

Reading will be hoping to extend their unbeaten run to five matches this Saturday, but face a tough challenge as they travel to third-placed Sheffield United (3pm ko).

Andy Rinomhota faces a late fitness test after missing the Blackburn victory, while Sam Baldock, John O’Shea, Jordan Obita and Saeid Ezatolahi remain sidelined.