Preston North End v Reading - Sky Bet Championship
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Reading immediately sack manager after beating Preston with Paul Ince taking over

Preston served up arguably the worst performance of the Ryan Lowe era with a 3-2 defeat to Reading – and the Royals have still sacked manager Veljko Paunovic.

North End were dismal in the first half and quickly fell a goal down to Lucas Joao’s opener.

Joao, who tends to love playing against Preston, bagged another to leave Preston with a mountain to climb.

John Swift exchanged passes with Joao to score a third, just as he did against Preston in August, firing Reading 3-0 up.

Preston threatened a fightback with goals from Daniel Johnson and Cameron Archer, but it wasn’t enough to claim a result.

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This was a huge disappointment for Preston and continues the search for a home win; Lowe hasn’t won a home game for Preston since his first game against Barnsley in December.

Reading looked like being a great opportunity for Preston, given that they hadn’t won since November.

Instead, the Royals produced a huge performance to bolster their hopes of staying in the Championship.

Remarkably though, Reading have announced the immediate departure of Paunovic after today’s win at Deepdale.

Paunovic was rumoured to be on the brink of the sack, and Reading have decided to pull the trigger despite an enormous victory.

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To add another strange layer to this story, Reading have confirmed that Paul Ince is taking charge in place of Paunovic.

The former Blackpool boss returns to management after more than eight years out, having left the Tangerines in January 2014.

Ince’s son Tom currently plays for Reading, and he will now be charged with the task of keeping Reading up.

Today’s win helps their cause massively, but does go to show the dire situation Reading were in before beating Preston.

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