ROYALS captain Paul McShane made his long-awaited return to first team football in the 2-1 win against Preston North End on Saturday, writes Rob Stevens.

Republic of Ireland international McShane, 33, has made only six appearances for Reading since picking up an injury in the draw at Hull City back in January 2018.

The defender still has a positive attitude however and deserved to help the Royals to victory at the Madejski Stadium last weekend, according to manager Jose Gomes.

He told the Chronicle: "It was important for Paul and the team for him to play and he helped us in the end. He deserved to be a solution in the game and I think he was.

"He's a very positive guy and full of energy during training. He gives everything and helps the younger players."

Gomes also hopes to get more out of striker Modou Barrow in the remaining seven matches in the Championship this season.

He explained: "Mo is a very fast player with very good technical ability. He has already scored important goals for us since I arrived and is very helpful when using these good things that he has.

"The way that he can smell a goal, he's a great player for the team, so hopefully we can take more from him."

The Royals were boosted by the return of dynamic midfielder Andy Rinomhota, who started in the win against Preston last weekend, while Nelson Oliviera could be in line for a return at Hull this Saturday (3pm).

Gomes said: "If someone should stay out it should be because of our options and not injuries, but when we have a lot of injured players it can be a problem.

"Andy returned on Saturday and did so very well. He is an energy player and always gives us a boost when he's ready and not feeling any pain."

The Reading boss added: "Nelson was on the bench but I didn't want to use him because he has just trained a few minutes with us.

"He's very strong mentally and wanted to help the team, and for everything he has suffered with this season he deserved to be on the bench. I know that if we needed him he could give us a proper answer.

"We have one more week to work and for sure he will be better next Saturday, so a technical decision will be made depending on how he's feeling."