Paul Clement called on his Reading players to show more “fight” and “passion” after they fell to a 2-1 loss against Norwich City at Madejski Stadium.
The Royals have now lost all four home league games this campaign, leaving them in the Championship relegation zone after eight games.
And Clement says his team deserved nothing but defeat.
On the mood in the dressing room after the defeat…
Not good. We’re very disappointed to have not backed up the performance on Saturday with a performance here. Up until when we scored I thought we were good and that’s the kind of team I want to see. The first half I thought we were poor. We were second best in a lot of areas. Not compact enough, not tight enough, not competitive enough and they’re a decent side but we made them look like an even better side than they are in the first half.
But we came out with the right spirit in the second half and deservedly got back into the game, but that’s just pure naivety in the timing of their second goal. We’d got back in it, had the momentum. When that goes in, they’ve got the ball and you’ve just got to keep it tight, don’t make any mistakes and you’re going to get the ball back and you’re going to get chances. That’s a big disappointment.
On the second goal…
There were mistakes. It wasn’t just one player,
there were two or three mistakes leading into that second goal. You can’t allow
the away team to get back into it at that point after you’ve just scored.
You’ve done all that good work and it’s shooting yourself in the foot.
On the message at half-time…
Play with passion and intensity and give your
best for your team-mates and the club. It has to be the foundation before any
tactical work, they’re the fundamentals of the game. You’ve got to be
competitive, strong in the duals, close the opposition down, be there for
second balls and we were much better at the start of the second half.
On nerves in front of goal…
Yeah players snapping at stuff, shooting when
there’s a player clearly in the way. We really tried to get back into the game
but when you’re rushing stuff you became impatient and then you force things.
There was lots of that, particularly when we went 2-1 down.
On recovering ahead of Saturday’s game against Hull…
This is our job. All of us have been in good
situations, bad situations. We’ve all been very buoyant leading into Preston.
The atmosphere was good and we executed a good game. Today we didn’t. I don’t
think over the 90 we were good enough to get anything out of that game and we
have to be more consistent. Another opportunity, home game, loads of games to
be played still. If you win that game today you go above that side, you’re four
points potentially off sixth spot. The margins are still very fine for us. They
tip one way, they tip the other way and we’ve just got to find ways to make
sure they’re going in the right direction like we did against Preston.
On the problems with playing at home…
I know the points would suggest that but for me
you have to approach all the games the same, with a good attitude, good energy
first of all but we didn’t have that in this game. I haven’t got time to go
back through every game. Today in the first half we didn’t get that right. In
the second half we came out and just the attitude of the team was much better.
In professional sport before you get all the technical stuff and the tactical
stuff right, you’ve got to fight. You’ve got to show passion, you’ve got to
battle, you’ve got to be committed. I thought that was missing from our
performance tonight, especially in the first half. It was better in the second
half and then we’ve made a big mistake that’s led to their second goal.
On the second goal…
It was massively frustrating.