Reading midfielder looks to build on midweek victory with result at Sunderland

Reading's Joey van den Berg (right) gets away from Leeds' Pablo Hernandez last month. Picture by Tony Johnson.
Reading's Joey van den Berg (right) gets away from Leeds' Pablo Hernandez last month. Picture by Tony Johnson.
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Reading midfielder Joey van den Berg has taken a great deal of heart from Tuesday’s crushing defeat of Barnsley.

And he wants the Royals to build on their welcome success when they visit the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Reading climbed to 16th place, with 23 points, with their midweek triumph and sit nine points above this weekend’s opponents, Sunderland.

Van den Berg, 31, told iFollow Royals: “I haven’t seen a lot of Sunderland this year.

“They are in a low position in the table, but it doesn’t say anything about the team, I don’t think.

“They have a good squad, but if we can manage to get a good result over there it will be just as important as Tuesday night’s win.

“We want to keep making steps and to do that we want to get a result over there – so we’ll play the game and hopefully end it as the winner.”

The holding midfielder enjoyed his night against Barnsley, scoring just his second goal for the Berkshire outfit, but he was not totally satisfied with the team’s all-round performance.

“I’m very happy with the win, although it wasn’t our best game, especially in the second half,” added the former Heerenveen player.

“But in the situation where we are in, it’s good to get the points on the board and very good to have the win.

“Sometimes it is most important to get the result.

“But we always want to play good football and entertain everybody. I don’t think that was the case against Barnsley.

“We knew they were going to press forward in the second half, but it took a long time before we scored the third goal, and that allowed them to keep hoping and hoping that if they scored one, they’d be back in the game.

“Eventually we scored the third one.

“It was also good to keep a clean sheet, because we have conceded a few goals this season, so that’s two clean sheets in a row and that can only be good for the spirit of the team, for Vito (Mannone, the ex-Sunderland keeper) and the defenders.

“If we can keep a clean sheet, most of the time we’re going to win the game.

“It’s not easy, but we can take confidence from that and we are very happy with the win.

“I was very important to make a few steps up in the table. Now we have to keep it up!”