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Long plays down role after brace

TWO-GOAL Shane Long played down his role in Reading's demolition of Cardiff that earned them a spot in the npower Championship play-off final.

The Royals won 3-0 at the Cardiff City Stadium for an aggregate win by the same scoreline, with Jobi McAnuff putting the finishing touches to the success after Long had scored twice. “It's amazing,” the Republic of Ireland striker said.

“It means so much to the fans and everyone at the club. It's been a long time coming. It wasn't easy but we did enough on the night.

“Any goals I can score at Wembley will be more important. It wasn't one of my best games but I scored two and that's how it goes.”

Reading will meet Swansea in the final, with a spot in the Premier League at stake, and manager Brian McDermott added: “I thought it was a fantastic occasion. We're going to Wembley and we're delighted.”


Reading were languishing in midtable with little more than two months of the season left, but embarked on an eight-game winning run to power into the top six.

“We kept winning, we won eight on the trot and I always had faith,” McDermott said.

“We live in the now and today is a fantastic occasion. I'm so pleased and the final will be a great occasion.”

Cardiff manager Dave Jones was bitterly disappointed after yet another play-off failure.

The Bluebirds threw away a castiron spot in 2009 before losing in the final a year ago.

“Full credit to Reading, but I said it might be a bit of luck and ill-discipline,” Jones said. “I'm proud of the players but it just wasn't to be. We have to suffer and it's hard to swallow. It's Reading's time and not ours.”