READING boss Brian McDermott hailed the contribution of Ireland striker Shane Long after his first league goal of the season earned the Royals a badly needed win over Barnsley.
Before Saturday, Long had scored just once this season, and that was in the FA Cup win over Liverpool, but his goal on Saturday proved vital as Reading are now only three points behind Ipswich, who went down 2-0 away to Preston.
"Shane was excellent, he won a lot of headers and he showed what he was about. He's been looking after himself, athletically he looked right and he showed pace and power. It was fitting he scored the winner; against two big centre halves he came out on top," said McDermott.