Graham Potter was pleased with his side’s latest pre-season performance as Championship outfit Reading were beaten 2-1 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium.
Goals in either half from Pascal Gross and Solly March secured the victory and while the Royals then hit back through a penalty, Albion showed – particularly with a settled side in the first half – a real sharpness to their play.
“We’ve taken a big step forward,” said the head coach. “In the first half we played with real intensity, good control, won the ball back quickly when we lost it and scored a good goal. We created some good opportunities, so it was a really good work-out for us.
“It’s not easy against 5-4-1 when they play deep, so you have to be patient which isn’t easy, while we restricted their transitions to next to nothing which was good. In the end it was a good work-out for us. I really liked the game.”
Gross broke the deadlock with a close-range header in the 19th minute, finishing off a move that also involved March and Tariq Lamptey. The lead was then doubled two minutes after the restart when March drilled home a fine low effort from 20 yards out. Potter was delighted with the performance of both goalscorers.
“It was a typical Pascal performance again. He helps the team function really well and provided a nice balance down the side with Joel [Veltman] and Tariq this time, and also when Solly changed over, so he plays the role well. It was also nice for him to score with his head, a good goal.
“Solly’s goal was the result of good team play. Reading started the second half with more intensity but we could play through it and got Solly into that situation where, if it’s on his left foot, he’s a good finisher. It’s also nice that he can play both sides. It gives us options game to game or during a game.”
With a flurry of substitutions in the second half, Albion used 22 players in total, but Potter revealed that those who had limited game time will be utilised more against Brentford in a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday – Albion’s penultimate warm-up fixture.
“That is a game where we can build the minutes up for the guys who didn’t play [as much] today. We have a big squad, lots of good players who want to play, who want to perform, and who want to help the team and push the team.
“We’re really happy with the squad. I said before that while the window’s open you have to be active, everybody does, but my job is always to help the guys who are here. You can see they are trying to do the things we are asking them to do. The collective effort is really there and gives you something to work with.”