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Brian: First half wasn't us

16 September 2012

Boss reflects on defeat

Tottenham came to Madejski Stadium and showed why they finished fourth in the Barclays Premier League last season in a 3-1 win - and while Brian McDermott praised the visitors he also expects a fuller performance from his own team.

Brian admitted that the first half was a big disappointment to him, but he was buoyed by an improvement after the break and a late consolation goal from Hal Robson-Kanu. 

Reflecting on the game - his team's first home loss in eleven - he said, "I didn't recognise us in the first half, I thought we were too submissive and didn't get on the ball enough, be brave or get in their faces. We were bordering on being too respectful. 

"We had to make the change at half time, then we were better for 20 minutes but we needed to score in that period to make it a different game. Bale's goal killed us. We were a lot better in the period leading up to that but we came up against a top class side who played well. They deserved to win. 

"I know we'll play top class opposition and we'll lose games - I can take losing but we can't have the way we lost the first half.

"Whatever the formation, it's about the mindset. First half is not what we are about and not how we play, we didn't perform. What we have to do is move on quickly, you have to in this league. We can't have performances like the first half and expect to win. If we do what we're capable of then that gives us a chance of winning. Sometimes we were trying to play our way out of positions where you can't do that. Clear your lines, do what you have to, which is what we've always done since I've been manager.

"First half we never got out to them, their centre half kept coming out which is why I had to change it, to stop them doing that. They had different personnel to the last game, Gylfi and Dembele were very good together and Sandro holding well, we didn't get to grips with it until the second half but we gave a couple of goals away."

Brian was asked if a 25-day period without a game - longer than the entire Euro 2012 tournament this summer - was a factor and he said, "I think we needed a game, we'd not played in three and a half weeks which is unheard of in any league, never mind the Barclays Premier League. We'll be better for the game, we know we can give a better account of ourselves. We scored late on, we had a good period and we'll move on quickly."

Reading may have had two penalties, but Brian was more concerned with his own team's display than any decisions, commenting, "I thought it was a penalty, and for the first half one he said Alex fouled Walker, but I can't talk about those things, it's about us and how we have to play at home, that wasn't us in the first half."

Watch Brian's full post-match video interview on Reading FC Player now.

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