Pride after pushing United all the way
Brian McDermott was once again left proud of his team after seeing them push Manchester United every step of the way, losing by the odd goal in seven on another hugely memorable night at Madejski Stadium.
All goals came in the first half and the lead changed hands four times in just 26 minutes. Brian of course wanted all three points over and above the entertainment factor, but took great comfort from his team's performance. He told Reading FC Player, "I was proud of the efforts and that first half performance from our players. It wasn't just effort alone, there was quality as well in the way we passed the ball.
"It was an incredible game really, and we've had a few of those this season. We played for our supporters, they want to see us get the results and they will come. You see the confidence levels from our players, and look at the way we passed the ball and got crosses into the box. We caused them a lot of problems today and I thought with the late set play Morrison was going to score.
"I think we're becoming everybody's second team at this rate! But our fans are the most important, they can see the players never give up and we led Manchester United twice. We know what our agenda is in this league and we just keep going, now we move on to Southampton. There's no problem with competition and it's a different challenge for us.
"The crowd were really behind us in that first half, they saw some real good quality play. I'm disappointed that we haven't come away with anything, but that's the nature of this league. Last season we were winning game after game, this season we've just got to hang in there. We have to be different here and get the results whatever way we can.
"We want to get the results. But we're playing against a side here with massive quality. If you consider where we were almost three years ago, when we'd just been beaten 4-1 at Plymouth - we were staring League One in the face. And look at how far we;ve come in that three years - it's a great achievement by everybody at the club."
Scoring goals is not a problem to Brian's side, but of course he wants to shore up at the back as well. "We're doing the hardest thing - especially in this league - as we're scoring goals. Once we can get the other bit sorted and we're not conceding, we'll be fine. We didn't create much at Villa but today we did and we have to marry the two things together. It wouldn't be right to judge our defence on today, you're playing against the type of player you just don't face every week. I can't fault them, that's what people pay their money for, world class players.
"The lads will be disappointed today but we know the calibre of the opposition in this division, we know the calibre of Manchester United. Manchester United are synonymous with everything that is good about football. They have top quality players, Rooney, van Persie, Young, the list goes on. We are Reading, we have to do things differently and do things our way."