After Reading 0 Newcastle 0, one of the home side’s stars claimed that avoiding defeat had been down to the work done in advance of the match.
Joey van den Berg saying that Reading had ‘analysed Newcastle, we knew their strengths’ and had devised a plan to combat them.
The midfielder thinks that the whole team defended well against the visitors and against Newcastle, ‘I think if you get a draw you can be quite happy’.
Whilst Reading had a few chances of their own, it was Newcastle who edged the match with Matt Ritchie hitting the post and United having a decent number of other chances, especially in the first half.
Jaap Stam revealed that at half-time he’d had to warn his players about attacking too much and leaving space for Newcastle to exploit, which lessened NUFC’s threat but also reduced the chances of Reading scoring as well.
Before this match, Newcastle had only lost three of 18 away Championship matches and Reading had lost only two of their 18 home ones, so maybe no wonder that it ended up in the first goalless draw of the season for Rafa Benitez.
Another step closer to securing automatic promotion and the same for Reading with regards to a place in the play-offs.
After this crucial three game away trial against clubs in second, third and fifth, Newcastle now have four away matches remaining and only one one of them is against a club in the top half of the Championship, Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday 8 April.
Joey van den Berg:
“As a team we broke down Newcastle’s play very well and worked together.
“That’s what we did today – we analysed Newcastle, we knew their strengths, so I think we did well.
“Newcastle are a very good team with very good individual qualities, so I think if you get a draw you can be quite happy.
“Not just the defence but the whole team did very well against Newcastle.
“If you can work together and do everything that is asked of you then you can make it very hard for every opponent.
“I think we can be happy with a point. Of course you always want to win but if you look at the game I think it is a good point.
“I think if you look at the game Newcastle had a good few chances – they hit the post as well. We had maybe two or three good chances, but I think we’ll take a point.”