Brown proud of his troops in reserve

Steve Brown paid tribute to his reserve charges, who stretched their unbeaten run to five games with an away win against title-contenders Reading last night.

"We've had four consecutive wins and a draw and four clean sheets out of five," he said. "The one goal we have conceded was a 25-yard thunderbolt away at Portsmouth, so I've got no complaints. I think as a side we're looking well-balanced and we're looking defensively sound.

"When I turned up we were conceding goals all the time in the first 5 or 10 minutes and we were always on the back foot. Football's a much easier game when you've got a goal to defend as opposed to chasing a goal. I can't ask any more from the players.

"I don't get to work with them all on a daily basis. All I get is what we do on the day of a game, so that's even more credit to the players that they respond to what I tell them in the dressing room an hour before kick-off. We don't have anytime on the training field to work together because all the young lads are with Tony Carr, so it's very difficult.

"But they're achieving great things at the moment. In terms of how we're set up and how we approach the reserves; it's not ideal. So when you throw them all together out there and you ask them to change systems and they look comfortable, that's very rewarding."

Steve was pleased to see his side out-perform the league leaders at the Madejski Stadium. "They wanted to win the league," he said. "They've had a good season, not only in the Premiership but they're top of the reserve league. They've got two more opportunities to win in, one away at Arsenal and one away to us in a couple of weeks.

"I'm sure they'll get the point or two that they need to win it. But they've got to come to us again and I said to the players after the game if we perform like that week in week out then we would have a chance of winning the league."