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Adkins seeks improvement

15 September 2013

Boss reflects on 0-0 draw

Royals boss Nigel Adkins admitted our first half display against Brighton was well below par, and while he was happier with the team's response after the break he still craved that single goal that would have won the game.

Both teams showed plenty of endeavour after the restart, but failed to open up the opposition defence enough to break the deadlock.

Adkins said, “We were very poor first half and we couldn't put two passes together, but we changed it around tactically in the second half just to get a grip of passing the football.

“There was a positive improvement in the second period, for me we got better possession of the football, put the ball out wide and had some opportunities to put crosses into the box which we didn't capitalise on sufficiently.

"Me being positive, we’ve kept two clean sheets on the spin in the league now, that’s something to keep building on against what is a good Brighton side. But we wanted to win today’s game.

"We can get so much better and we will do. What we have to do is make sure we stay in the race, there’s a long, long way to go. We want an improvement all the way across the line, that’s what we’ll be endeavouring to do.”

He added that he and the squad will reflect on the performance, particularly the opening 45 minutes, saying, "We always analyse it and in the cold light of day we'll establish the reasons. First half was nowhere near where we want to be. 

"The surprising thing is that we had a super week's training, but as I said to the players you are measured on what you do on gameday. Training was bang on this week and we were really excited about the game, but first half we were nowhere near it.

"We then made changes at half time, Royston had been booked and he could have been booked again, so it was purely tactical. Same with Stephen Kelly who had done nothing wrong. In the second half we went with a diamond, narrowed in the middle to get the full backs forward and with Hal a bigger presence in behind Alfie. I wanted us to win the game, not just sit back with two banks of four.

"As I said we’ve got two back-to-back clean sheets in the league which is important, what we know is we have a game in the week on Wednesday night against Leeds United. 

"Brian McDermott back at Madejski Stadium should get a fantastic reception for what he did at this football club.

"We know it's going to be a gripping game, players have got to recover now which is important and get ourselves ready for the next one."

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