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'Nowhere near good enough'

29 December 2013

Boss reacts to Riverside trip

Royals boss Nigel Adkins pulled no punches in his post-match press interview after the 3-0 defeat at Middlesbrough, and simply said the team's performance was not good enough.

Reading were second best at the Riverside, with Albert Adomah and Grant Leadbitter scoring in the first half before a late penalty from the latter. In between, Kaspars Gorkss was sent off for two yellow cards - the second of which came after no contact on Boro's player.

Regardless, Adkins was very unhappy with the team's display, saying, "That is not good enough.

"The performance today underlined the inconsistencies we've had. For spells of games we've done well, but today for large parts we were nowhere near good enough if we want to be back in the Premier League.

"We walked all the way over to the corner to applaud the supporters because I certainly understand what it's all about, so first and foremost thank you to them for that.

"Going over the game, first goal we were on the attack, the ball was intercepted, we left ourselves a bit open on the counter but you've got to say well done to Middlesbrough as they capitalised and it's a super finish by Adomah.

"Second goal, potentially the referee didn't give us a free kick for Jobi McAnuff being impeded - he's allowed play to go and the lad has spanked it in from miles out into the top corner. We've got the next England goalkeeper potentially in goal so it's a super strike to go and beat him.

"Then Kaspars, should the first one have been a booking? I don't know. Second one, I've looked at the video and he's not made contact whatsoever. We knew before the game that the referee brandishes yellow and red cards and he's certainly gone and done that today.

"We were getting ready to bring Alfie on, then it's a penalty to make it 3-0. I've looked at it, Pearcey has two feet on the ground in a fixed state, the player has knocked the ball and he's run into him. Is it a penalty, is it not, its certainly a cheap one.

"But believe you me, let's not let any of that take away from how a poor performance it was from us today.

"I'm responsible in respect that I'm the manager that puts the team out there, too many times this season inconsistently we've not been anywhere near good enough. I've got to go and do something about it."

He continued, "Like all teams you have injuries and suspensions, we've got eight or nine players out and unavailable but if you want to be in the Premier League you've got to cope. We talk about the demands of the Championship, we're not meeting that at this moment in this time.

"We've got an opportunity now in January to address it. Obviously there's been lots of speculation, and if we don't address what's going on at this moment in time we're not going to give ourselves an opportunity to bounce straight back to the Premier League."

Asked for areas that were below par on the day, he said, "I think a lot of things. We analyse things for fun, they had a lot of long range shots and we didn't close down anywhere near enough. We've talked about this consistently, the players are well aware of that but they've got to go and do it.

"The opportunities today to play between the lines and go and penetrate were countless. We were too slow in our scanning, our control of the ball and our passing of the ball to go and penetrate. I think we had five or six corners in the first half, talk about shots on goal - Given has pulled off a couple of top drawer saves. But I'm not hiding away from anything, I'm responsible for it - we're not at this moment in time where we need to be."

Going into detail about his second half changes after we went to ten men, he said, "When we lost Kaspars we've gone for one up front to make sure we were solid, because at 2-0 you're still in the game. We got some good crosses into the box at that stage, and then our mindset was to bring Alfie on and go two up front, but we conceded the penalty for 3-0. Garath McCleary was ill so we had to take him off to avoid a pulled muscle, all those things go through your mind."

The boss has always talked about staying in the race come the January transfer window and admitted, "We're behind the race at this moment in time. I ain't hiding away from that, I've talked about frustrations and where we want to be as a football club. We know that come January, as a football club, we might have an opportunity to go and do something about it for the second half of the season. It's fair to say we're on a downwards spiral now - and we've got to go and address that."

Lastly, asked about injuries and availability, the boss said, "I'm trying to keep a consistent team out there which has been a challenge all the way through for one reason or another. All being well Royston will be back for Forest. He trained with us yesterday but came to see me at the end of training to say he had a personal problem that I think everyone has to understand is private and personal, but he's expected to be in training with us tomorrow. So he's not injured or anything like that. With Kaspars out the back four is what it is, and it might be an opportunity for youngsters to be on the bench."

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