Reading boss Jose Gomes says matchwinner Nelson Oliveira insisted on playing against Rovers – only 11 days after suffering a horrific facial injury.

Oliveira scored with four minutes to go as Reading’s 2-1 victory moved them outside of the relegation places.

The on-loan striker did so wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose in four places after an incident involving Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings.

Praising the Portuguese frontman, Gomes said: “He asked to play in the previous match at Sheffield Wednesday but the doctor would not give him permission, he couldn’t go on the pitch after his difficult operation. His nose was broken in four places, but he insisted on playing this game tonight and it means he really wants to help the team.

“Everybody saw his face a few days ago, but in the short time he was on the pitch he was pushing the other guys and giving a strong motivation to them. Now we have three points in our pocket which is a result of the work they have been doing. The players really deserve it.

“The three points were important for a lot of reasons; for the win and position in the table, it was the first time this season we have collected points from four games in a row and also for the courage Nelson showed.”

Reading had won just once in 15 matches before the victory over Rovers which saw them overtake Rotherham United in the standings.

After a sixth win of the season, and second under his management after replacing Paul Clement in December, Gomes added: “I’m happy for the three points and our position in the table, but we know it is only one step. We have a long road in front of us. It was an important step, but we must take a lot more steps before the end of the season. I’m happy but my feet are on the ground. I am not dreaming.

“I really believe luck I always the result of hard work. If you are talking about one game, maybe luck can bring you a cup. But when you talk about a 46 game league you cannot talk about luck. You can talk about work, spirit and intelligence but not luck.”