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Mixed emotions for Adkins

17 August 2013

Boss reflects on six-goal thriller

Royals boss Nigel Adkins acknowledged that our 3-3 draw with Watford was a fantastic advert for the Sky Bet Championship - but was understandably left with a feeling of disappointment after seeing the visitors claw back a point.

Reading led 2-0 and 3-1 in a pulsating game, but a hotly-debated penalty and then a fortunate 90th minute equaliser saw Watford take a draw. In fairness to the visitors they fought back well, but it could so easily have been three points for Reading if Lewis McGugan's shot had not fallen on a plate for Diego Fabbrini, who also went to ground theatrically for the earlier spot kick.

Adkins reflected, "We said before the match it would be a cracker and it didn't disappoint. We got off to a positive start, we changed our formation to a diamond to play against what is a very good Watford side and it worked a treat.

"We went ahead with an unbelievable goal, great finish from Adam Le Fondre. We were on the front foot, attack-minded, Alfie could have had a second but then Jem goes and scores from a well-worked free kick off the training ground.

"At half time then it's 2-0 which is a dangerous scoreline to defend. We conceded from a corner, poor defending and one player in the team is marking on the wrong side, not doing their job, then Watford have a lifeline.

"At 3-1 we think we're in a winning situation and then we've got to win the game and see it out. The tempo of the game was too quick, we didn't manage it sufficiently well and slow it down. We got embroiled in the game - in fairness against a good side.

"Then it's the cheap penalty which is a turning point. Is it or isn't it a penalty? It looked innocuous but hard to tell from the video footage I've seen. We had one last week when Royston was booked for diving, but the linesman has given it, we have to accept it, there's nowt you can do about it, it gave them the momentum and it's game on at 3-2.

"Then we had five across the midfield, the best they had was a long range shot, but it's deflected to the player and it's 3-3. Euphoria for them and disappointment for our fans, but on reflection it was a cracking game. It's six goals and football is the winner today. If anything we made it too exciting. Good teams will bore the pants off everyone and keep the ball, maybe we were too attack-minded.

"It was a great tactical game, they had to take their holding midfield player off and be more adventurous in their play. We have got to deal with it. Gianfranco was talking about the benchmark game for them and they've got some good players.

"Both teams were positive and it was a great game for the supporters. But we're in a winning position and want to see it out, we have to make sure we win. We haven't lost though, and but for that rub of the green for them, it could have been different." 

Meanwhile, the boss dismissed press reports linking us with Stoke's Cameron Jerome, and when asked about transfers he said, "There's going to be lots of speculation, every manager wants to strengthen their group. We're working hard behind the scenes, there's two and a bit weeks until the window closes, we scored three today and if we hadn't scored three you'd be asking more questions about strikers!"

Lastly, the boss also confirmed that Kaspars Gorkss was left out of the 18-man squad after playing 90 minutes for Latvia in midweek.

See the manager's full post-match video interview on Reading FC Player now.

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