McDermott reflects on narrow defeat
Brian McDermott was left to rue another tight defeat as his team went down 1-0 away to Aston Villa.
Christian Benteke's late header was the difference between the two sides; it was a game of fine margins but the Royals were not able to swing the details in their favour. They had chances to get something from the game - especially with a second half header from Adam Le Fondre - but it was not to be.
Brian said, "The boys are gutted but we have to keep going. Again the first goal proved crucial and they got it, it's frustrating to lose another one late on.
"I thought the shape was much better than on Saturday, I didn't think we were going to concede but then we let in a late goal. Benteke is a decent player, they spent £7million on him but I thought Morrison and Mariappa handled him really well. Morrison looks like a good prospect, he's only 21 and with Mariappa - an international - the combination was fine.
"I said to the players we need to create more in the final third, our wide players need to get in more instead of crossing from deep, it's a fair point to mention the crosses. I see quality day in and day out on the training ground but it didn't happen tonight. Anything away from home in the Premier League is difficult but we just keep going.
"Now we have to stick together, it's really important that we do that as a group. It's important the fans stick with us and try to get us over the line, to get a result from somewhere, hopefully on Saturday. We want some momentum having lost the last couple. We'd beaten Everton which was a great day but the last two haven't been great.
"In the first half I thought it looked like we were going to go on and win, we had opportunities before the break but we didn't make the goalkeeper work. Then in the second half with the header as well.
"Now you find out a lot about your players and staff about how you bounce back. Over the years we've done that really well. Now it's Manchester United and for me it doesn't get any better. We're still in a great situation, we're in the Barclays Premier League and fighting to stay in there for next season. If we keep going we'll get our rewards."