Former boss on Royals' quality
Alan Pardew spoke honestly to his post match press conference - admitting that his side were fortunate to come away with the win, before tipping the Royals to succeed in the Premier League this year.
Do you enjoy coming here?
Of course I do – I've got people that I love here and I look forward to seeing them later. There's also a bit of fun from the fans and all that is part of it, I don't mind any of that.
Was it a good point for you?
Well, we can’t keep relying on our spirit and a bit of quality to get us these points, we've got to find a way of getting some rhythm in our play. But Reading did a good job of upsetting that today. They didn't give us a moment’s peace, they were all over us – as you’d expect. Particularly with myself coming back here. The intensity and the quality that they've got will see them alright. I think they've got no worries in this Premier League. There’s going to be some good teams get beat here, and we were fortunate today that we weren't one of them.
Did you think the equaliser was a fair goal?
Obviously I have seen it again and it definitely hits Demba's arm. At the time I thought he’d headed it, if I’m honest – I didn't really see a problem, until I walked off the pitch and someone told me that it hit his arm. The ball was fantastic – he put it in an area where things happen, the goalie has got no chance because of the vicinity of the cross.
Despite the great first goal – all the talk will be of that second goal won’t it?
Of course, and I think if I’m honest it’s a shame for Reading, because they do need a win and their performance should be getting the headlines. I can tell you as the opposition today, we won't be playing too many teams who worked as hard as they did today. They really did put everything in and I feel for Brian on a personal level that he hasn't got the win that perhaps he deserved today. But our goalie and a bit of quality and a bit of spirit has got us a point again. We've been solid all season, but we're lacking that artistry and rhythm.
Will you say ‘sorry’ to Brian for that result?!
I’m not sure I’ll say sorry! Professionalism won’t let me do that, but I will say that his team deserved to win. I've got no problem with that.
Was Demba Ba at all sheepish about it, did you say anything to him?
Honestly when I addressed the team I didn't realise he’d handled it. It’s only when my analyst showed me I realised he had – so I've not had a conversation with him.
You must feel a bit of pride at what you started at Reading – Brian gave you a lot of credit for it in the week.
Brian was a big part of what I did here, and yes I'm proud of what I did. I’m not so proud of how I ended it but I was proud of what I did. The club has gone on from there, because they've got great people here. Nicky Hammond deserves a lot of credit for what’s happened here, as well as Brian, Steve Coppell and everyone else who built on what we’ve started. Fair play to them.