Reading boss Veljko Paunovic hailed defensive duo Scott Dann and Andy Yiadom following their 1-0 home win against Barnsley yesterday afternoon, speaking to Wokingham.Today in his post-match press conference.
John Swift’s impressive run and finish in the 78th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides at the Select Car Leasing Stadium, being frustrated by the Tykes for much of the game before finally making their breakthrough late on.
In a game where both sides had bright spells, 26-year-old Swift’s quality shone through in Berkshire, controlling an inch-perfect ball from Dann on the left-hand side before storming into the box and converting brilliantly.
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With this, he increased his tally to eight goals and 13 goalscoring contributions in just 12 Championship matches this term, an astonishing total from the midfielder and something that has seemingly attracted interest from Premier League sides Wolverhampton Wanderers, Burnley, Crystal Palace, and Norwich City in recent weeks.
But Paunovic reserved praise for Dann and Yiadom, both of whom played their part in helping the Royals to keep their second clean sheet in a row, following their 1-0 victory against Cardiff City before the international break.
Speaking to Wokingham.Today’s Andy Preston about Dann on his first start, Reading manager Paunovic said: “Our football intelligence increased with him on the field. He used his experience and intelligence to help with the pace of the game.
And commenting on right-back Yiadom’s performance against his former club, the Serbian continued: “He’s a great example. Three days ago we didn’t think he would make it. He had a cut on his foot that healed very well. He always gives everything he has to be on the field.”
The duo were outstanding yesterday and with all four players in the backline playing well, the duo singled out by Paunovic were particularly impressive and Dann was rightly touted as a potential candidate for man of the match by many Reading fans on Twitter.
But Yiadom has seemingly gone under the radar with Luke Southwood, Dann and Swift’s performances. He was a doubt after injuring his foot against Cardiff City during the international break, but won the vast majority of his battles this weekend and has been impressive in a selection of games for his side this term.
Going forward and defensively, he’s really starting to get into good form now and his performance yesterday could be partially down to Dann’s presence at the back.
The 34-year-old was excellent on his first start for the Royals, supplying the assist, putting in a vital tackle in the first half and being a brick wall in front of goalkeeper Southwood, with centre-back partner Liam Moore thriving alongside him.
Reading fans haven’t seen the best of Liam Moore for a number of years now, but the presence of an experienced Premier League central defender in Dann should allow him to relax and feel confident.