Manager fronts up
Nigel Adkins did not hide away from the team's position in the Barclays Premier League after a 2-0 defeat to Southampton, but will continue to strive for every possible point between now and the end of the season.
Goals in either half from Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana gave the Saints a 2-0 win at Madejski Stadium and the boss said, "We don't want to be in this situation but we are and we can't shy away from it. You can either start hiding away or look forward to what we have to do.
"We needed a win, we were playing a good team but we're at home and we went out there to win. We are where we are in the division but we have got to keep working very hard."
The Royals' best spell came at 0-0 when Adam Le Fondre was unable to take a great opportunity, we had a decent penalty claim and Artur Boruc saved well, and if we had scored in that period the whole complexion of the match would have shifted.
The boss said, "There are always spells in the game. Alfie is the leading goalscorer and a great finisher. We've got him out there to score, that's the idea of course. He's a great finisher, unfortunately it didn't happen today but I'm sure it will in the future. And the penalty incident, it's a talking point and could have gone either way."
Rodriguez's opener could well have been a foul, and the boss rightly said that anywhere else on the pitch it would almost certainly have been given. Nigel commented, "The challenge on the goalkeeper, if it's somewhere else on the field of play, well it's very high. It could easily have been a free kick and I thought we were doing alright in the first half.
"At first I was actually more concerned about the offside, they played a second phase, our player headed it and if he'd left it it would have been offside. He said the referee knows he's made a mistake, I just said I hope they don't score and lo and behold they put it in the net.
"In the second half the ball was 99.9% over the line from Alfie's header but to be honest it's all talking points and we've not got the result we needed. The players worked very hard but Southampton got a better grip of the match in the second half.
"We've been on a run of games when we've not got the results we wanted but there has to be belief."
Adkins also confirmed that Hope Akpan had picked up an ankle injury very early in the encounter and did well to soldier on until half time, when he was replaced by Mikele Leigertwood.
Last but by no means least the boss was given a great reception by our fans, and he said, "Very much so. The Reading fans have been superb since I've joined and I'm looking forward to a really good growing relationship with them. I'd like to think they know we'll have a team that works hard and plays in a certain manner. At this moment in time we've got to get points on the board and win games."