Nottingham Forest boss Billy Davies tipped Reading as Barclays Premier League likely lads after they won 4-3 at the City Ground.
Simon Church was the Royals' match-winner with a close-range finish in injury time after Lewis McGugan's 88th-minute penalty looked like being enough to salvage a draw for Forest.
Reading are now four points outside the npower Championship's top two, prompting Davies to back them for promotion, saying: "You have certainly been looking at candidates to finish in the top two. They might have work to do but they have momentum on their side and have the qualities that could take them all the way."
There was little to choose between the sides for much of the encounter. They went in at half-time at 1-1 after Kris Boyd's spot-kick cancelled out Ian Harte's opener for Reading.
Forest seized the initiative after the interval, though, with Robert Earnshaw putting them ahead prior to goals from Jem Karacan and Jimmy Kebe, which preceded the late drama.
And Davies added: "We showed our naivety and our immaturity but what I will say is that this young squad of ours just keeps going and they will keep going to the very end.
"There are certainly no complaints from me about what I am getting from this group. They are giving me and the coaching staff their very best."
Reading boss Brian McDermott heaped praise on his players after they had clinched their sixth straight win.
McDermott said: "We want to try and win every game and to come to a place like this, face a side with Forest's tradition and win is an absolute credit to our players. I have got so much pride in the spirit and determination of the whole group.
"Having played so well we would have been really upset not to get the win. It was a great game and we managed to get there in the end but I really felt we were full value for the three points."
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