FORMER Colchester United hero Sam Walker says he and his Reading team-mates are gunning for back-to-back victories when they welcome Ipswich Town to the Madejski Stadium.

Like Town, the Royals are languishing at the wrong end of the Championship table but gave their campaign a timely boost by defeating Bristol City 3-2 on Saturday.

It was only their fourth league win and they remain third from bottom.

Goalkeeper Walker is hopeful of more points on Saturday but has warned that despite their position propping up the division, Ipswich will arrive with a “spirit and grit” instilled by new boss Paul Lambert.

“For us, it’s another opportunity to go out at home, pick up three points and, for the first time this season, record back-to-back wins,” said Walker, who has made nine league and cup appearances since joining from the U’s in July.

“At any level, that’s a huge thing to do.

“Last week’s win bunched things up a bit at the bottom and another win would propel us higher, while hopefully dragging a few more teams into it.

“We haven’t had the right result going into the last two international breaks so it would be nice to go into this one feeling positive about things.

“But we know it’s going to be a massive test against Ipswich.

“Their new manager will come in and instil the right spirit and grit into them, which you need in this league.

“There are no easy games and they’ll come here confident, with a new manager in place and on the back of a point last Saturday (against Preston).

“They were leading for a large part of that game, so we know they’ll be a tough team and a tough test.

“But we’ll be ready to match them.

“It’s a big opportunity and we’re ready and raring to go.”

After being pegged back twice in the first half against Bristol City, Reading secured a much-needed victory thanks to a 66th-minute goal from Leandro Bacuna.

And Walker, who made over 200 appearances for Colchester, insists that if his side keep showing the same spirit and fight, they will put themselves in a “good place”.

“You have to work hard for every result in this league – it’s built on fine margins - and that’s certainly something we did on Saturday,” the 27-year-old told the Reading website.

“We showed a really good amount of fight and spirit, especially after being pegged back twice as we did.

“The second goal, just before half-time, might have deflated us a bit but we regrouped and came out and gave a really strong performance.

“We deserved to win the game, in the end.

“This division is so competitive and it’s about being on the right side of those key moments.

“If we can maintain our consistency and concentration during games to make sure that keeps happening, we’ll be in a good place.”

Walker has called on the Royals faithful to turn up the volume against Ipswich.

“We play our part in that, by showing the character, passion and spirit the fans want to see,” he said.

“We did that last weekend and the support they gave us, especially in the second half, when it was backs to the wall a bit, was outstanding.

“Hopefully we can work together and make our stadium a bit of a fortress.”

Walker will come up against a former Colchester team-mate in the shape of Ipswich striker Freddie Sears, who scored Town's goal against Preston.

The pair spent three seasons together at the JobServe Community Stadium.

Sears joined the U’s in July 2012 and left in January 2015; Walker arrived in January 2012 and departed in July.