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'Positives to take'

20 October 2012

Royals boss on a gutsy Anfield battle

Royals boss Brian McDermott was taking the positives from a second half display that could easily have seen his side earn a point at Anfield this afternoon.

"At the end of the game you could see their supporters, their staff, they were very relieved to get a result," McDermott said after the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool.

"We've come to Anfield and I think we've been unfortunate not to get a point. So we move on with a lot of positives today.

"In the first half they played well and it was a good finish," Brian said of Raheem Sterling's 29th minute strike that separated the sides.

"It was funny because all the passing movement that they created didn't really hurt us, and yet one ball over the top got them in and he finished it really well.

"We've got to start the game at 3 o'clock, we've got to get going in games straight away, pass it like we can.

"I see us in training every day, I know we can pass it, I know we can play, and we've got pace in our team.

"I said to the players at half time that we were still in the game and in the second half I felt we were right on the front foot.

"We played Swansea a couple of weeks ago and the distance between the centre halves and midfield was too big. Therefore we had to go long because those distances weren't right.

"In the second half today our distances were better, we stepped onto the game, passed it, got it wide, had chances and we're disappointed we didn't get anything.

"Anfield is a tough place to come - they're a good side and the crowd here are fantastic. But in the second half I thought we were on top. And we move on with a lot of plusses."

McDermott's plans took a body blow with the withdrawal of injured midfielder Jem Karacan early in the game, but Brian was pleased with the way the team adapted.

"That's football, these things happen. It looks like it might be his medial ligaments. We'll leave it a couple of days and then assess it.

"But I thought we still acquitted ourselves really well with Jobi going into midfield. We know he can play there and Garath came on and we had a couple of opportunities where we managed to get ourselves in.

"But going away from home in this league, everyone knows it's difficult. This is our challenge for the group.

"We had a big challenge last season to get into this league after the start we had. We want to take the challenge on and we are.

"We're going to get better as the season goes on. We will keep working really, really hard on the training ground, keep doing what we have to do - and we prepare ourselves for the next game."

And that comes at home to Fulham next weekend. "I'm looking forward to getting back home, I really am," McDermott added.

"Coming to Madejski Stadium is never easy. And we have two home games coming up now and I can't wait for them."

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