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"We must keep building"

20 April 2013

Adkins assesses Carrow Road defeat

Royals boss Nigel Adkins was left to rue a short lapse early in the second half which allowed Norwich to take a closely-fought encounter away from his side this afternoon.

"We knew Norwich's strengths and I thought we did well in the first half. We nullified a lot of the things we knew they could go and do," he said of an impressive first half passing display which saw the Royals dominate possession and threaten in front of goal.

"Unfortunately, 
for a ten or fifteen minute period in the second half, we didn't deal with the physicality of Norwich City. "We had talked about Norwich's danger from wide positions, I think something like 92% of Norwich's goals have come from crosses and 58% from set pieces into the box

"And, from our point of view, two goals scored so close together, have effectively cost us the game.

"We finished the last half hour of the game on the front foot, we came close a few times, there were a lot of oohs and ahhs, and we wanted to keep passing the ball.

"Then for the last ten minutes we played crash ball and showed a desire to go and score goals. 

"Garath McCleary scored a very good goal to keep us in the game," he continued. "But you have to give Norwich a lot of credit for that ten or fifteen minute spell at the start of the second half, that's what they do very well.

"And having dealt with it very well in the first half, we weren't able to do the same in the second half."

The improvement in the Royals' patient passing style was evident for all to see, and for long periods the home fans were frustrated by a Reading performance that was certainly showing positive signs of adopting some of Adkins' philosophies.

"It's a changing face in terms of what we want to do - we want to play the game in a different manner to the way the lads have been used to, and I thought we did that very well in the first half.

"So from that point of view, there's a lot of positivity to take...after just a short space of time.

"I've been in charge for four games now and we've talked about the potential changing face of how we want to go and play the game.

"If you'd watched us in the first game at Arsenal and compared it to our performance here, there are obviously things we are implementing. And the players' attitude has been first class.

"We've got to take those positives forward, looking to improve on everything we do. Ultimately, though, it's about what you do in both penalty areas.

"I'll analyse the game and we'll look at the footage and I think we'll see several good opportunities that we had to score. We created some good chances, but we need to look at the decision-making process of the players who had the chances to go and execute them. But the more times we do it, the better we'll get at it.

"Let's not hide away from where we are in the division. It was always going to be a massive challenge. But we'll learn the lessons from this game and get ourselves ready for the next one. 

"Obviously we're at the wrong end of the division, but we've got to keep building on what we're doing."

And Adkins ended his post-match comments by thanking the fans who had made the long trip to a sun-drenched Carrow Road this afternoon.

"The fans are massively important at every football club, especially at Reading. The players are working very hard and we want to make sure our supporters see something they are going to enjoy watching and, most importantly, winning football."

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