McDermott aggrieved with defeat
It is fair to say that Brian McDermott has rarely been so angry with a decision than he was after seeing Gareth Barry's winner allowed to stand away to Manchester City.
Reading had defended superbly for 92 minutes and 2 seconds before Barry headed home a David Silva cross, despite climbing on the back of Nicky Shorey. Of course, the timing and importance of the goal makes anyone connected to Reading feel incredibly aggrieved - but regardless of whether it was in the first minute, last minute, 1-0 or 7-5, referee Mike Dean could so easily have given a free kick. Put it this way, if that was a header in the centre circle from a goal kick, it is almost impossible to suggest a foul would not have been given.
A furious Brian said, "It is just plain wrong and poor. I spoke to the referee and he said Barry hung in the air. Well you can hang in the air all day if you're on someone's back. I simply cannot get my head around why that is not given as a foul, it's ridiculous. It's such a crucial part of the game and he's a referee with a real experience."
Asked whether Shorey could have jumped or even gone to ground, Brian said, "I apportion no blame to Nicky, what can he do? When someone is on your back, how can you get off the ground? It's a massive error from the referee. It's an absolute joke. It was also a certain penalty on Jay Tabb earlier on in the game, I've seen it back and he's knocked him out of the way. He didn't look at the ball and he didn't play the ball, it's a penalty.
"My players did not deserve that today. They were terrific, they worked their socks off and lost in the 93rd minute in a team that cost millions and millions to put together. I could not have asked any more from them. I'm sure Mr Mancini will enjoy his red wine because they've got away with one and I'm sure he knows it."
Brian is understandably becoming tired of talking about refereeing decisions, and said, "Nobody will care about it because it's Reading. We're a small club in this division, people outside and you [the media] will move on very quickly, but we care. People will look at us as a small club playing Man City, and it'll be an irrelevance to them. But it's not irrelevant to us, we are fighting like crazy for our lives and we need those decisions to be correct.
"This has happened to us at Chelsea, Wigan, Southampton, all penalties, the handball against Newcastle, it is happening too regularly in my opinion. I've had referees ring me on a Monday and say they've made a mistake but how many times has it got to be? I said to the referee he'll see it and be gutted. It's happened too often, and people in football will move on quickly because it's Reading. Let's have a fair playing field. It's hard enough as it is when you're playing Tevez, Aguero, Silva, Toure, sensational players.
"We stayed in the game, had a couple of sniffs first half and if we'd got a break - which we haven't had all season - then who knows we might even have won. We changed the shape, we were resolute and stayed in it. We got stick after Arsenal and we take that, but after today there are massive positives, Jem coming back, Danny Guthrie coming on, Jimmy Kebe was awesome from back to front.
"But it's no consolation for the result, of course. We've got results over the past three years, today we just haven't got what we deserved. We are paid to get results and whatever we need to do, we will. Tactically we were spot on.
"I'm also gutted for the fans, they travelled such a long way and got soaking wet out there, I want to thank them for their support. We deserved a result for them at one of the most difficult grounds to come and play. We have a lot of positives to take - but that [decision] has ruined my Christmas."
See Brian's full post-match video interview on Reading FC Player now.