New boss assesses defeatManager Nigel Adkins rightly emphasised that our fixture away to Arsenal was always going to be exceptionally difficult, but he has learned lessons from his first game in charge.
The Royals have never beaten the Gunners in a competitive game, and Arsene Wenger's side turned on the style in a 4-1 win, with Santi Cazorla outstanding for the home side.
It was arguably the most difficult of our final eight games, and so it proved as the Gunners showed why they are one of the best sides in the country.
Nigel said, "The Emirates is a difficult place to come to, Arsenal were very good and passed the ball very well on a great surface. They made it challenging for us.
"At 1-0 at half time you're still in the game, we'll analyse the goals against us and for some of them maybe we could have done better. The timing of the goals is always important and [key] decisions, these are all factors.
"There are lessons we can learn from today's game. It was always going to be difficult for any team coming here, especially in the form Arsenal played in, but now we have an opportunity to work collectively on the training ground.
"We've come in, we're looking to play a passing style of football, but you can't change everything straight away and we don't want to negate the strengths Reading Football Club have had. It won't happen overnight, of course not.
"We've scored a goal which is one positive, good finish from Hal after a good cross from Jobi."
Nigel reserved praise for our supporters, commenting, "They were outstanding. All of the players and myself went over to applaud them for staying behind the team because that's massive. We've got a massive challenge but we're facing it head on and the supporters are certainly doing their job."
Lastly, Nigel was asked about going to the foot of the Barclays Premier League table, saying, "The only way is up! You have to be upbeat. The result has gone, we've got games left in the division, we'll focus on one at a time and that's always the most significant.
"The confidence and spirit have impressed me since I came in, and they need to remain high. We've got to keep improving, the lads have come a long way and we'll give ourselves an opportunity in the next game."