Reading manager Jose Gomes praised his side’s battling qualities after they twice came from behind to win 3-2 against fellow Championship strugglers Wigan.
Wigan went ahead through a close-range finish from Nick Powell only for John Swift to equalise from a free kick on the stroke of half time.
Joe Garner restored Wigan’s lead in the second half but late goals from Mo Barrow and Yakou Meite – the latter in the 97th minute – gave Reading a dramatic victory.
It was the first time that they had secured back-to-back league wins in 15 months.
“I’m exhausted,” Reading manager Gomes said. “Like all the team.
“It means that we gave all our energy to Reading. The players deserves this three points, the fans deserve it, the club deserve it.
“We tried to play positive football, we tried to use the game time with football actions.
“But our opponents didn’t, so this happens sometimes in the Championship.
“We have the fight side of the game and the football side.
“And sometimes to achieve the football side, we must win the fight side.
“My players were brave and they didn’t turn their face to the fight. We won the fight and they deserved these three points.
“I’m happy, not with the football that we played because sometimes the game was too complicated.
“But I was happy by the way that my players fought for each ball and in each action.
“They took encouragement from the supporters who pushed them on from the very first beginning.
“So we got what we wanted in the last minute and it was a fair result. Now we have to keep working and keep our focus.”
Gomes confirmed that he and Jorge Mendonca, his first-team assistant coach, were both shown yellow cards by referee Andy Davies – Gomes for excessive celebration after Meite’s winner.
Wigan dropped below Reading – on goal difference – after the defeat.
“What can I say?” Wigan manager Paul Cook said. “How can you best describe it? You just don’t feel good.
“Going towards the 90th minute, we looked all but home. All we’ve got to do is see the game out and then travel back with a great result.
“We haven’t managed to do that for whatever reasons.
“I thought that we were full value for getting something out of the game.
“We never sat off Reading and we got after them. Even Reading fans might think that Wigan have been hard done by.
“But that’s football and I don’t want to start getting controversial. That’s not my style at all.
“My style is to try to have a bit of respect after the game. It’s time for us to all move on.
“I think that the key for us is if we replicate these type of performances, we won’t have a problem in staying in this league.
“I can’t really turn my attentions to other games at the moment. This is all so fresh in the mind.
“You’ve got to be able to dissect it and digest it and then move on. It’s just so tough to do that at the moment.
“Going into the last minutes of both halves, we were just so comfortable. Then it’s all gone so wrong.”