Veljko Paunović had just two weeks with the Reading squad between his appointment as manager in late August 2020 and the start of the delayed 2020/21 Championship season, but that did not prevent a sensational start to the campaign. Following Paunović’s arrival, Reading won six and drew one of their first seven league games, leaving them with a five-point lead at the top of the table towards the end of October.
Reading’s eighth game came away to Blackburn, who were by a distance the Championship’s leading scorers at that stage of the season, with 16 goals in seven matches. It was a huge test for Paunović and his new team, but one they stood up to, opening the scoring after just eight seconds and going on to win 4-2.
Here, Paunović explains the tactics behind that victory, including the successful plan he put together to score early in the game and his reasons for changing formation – to a 4-4-2 diamond – for the first time in his tenure, despite his Reading side previously thriving in a 4-2-3-1.