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'Moments of quality took us through'

13 August 2014

Crosby lauds Royal finishes

Assistant Manager Andy Crosby said that three key moments of attacking quality won our Capital One Cup game against Newport.

Pavel Pogrebnyak, Nick Blackman and debutant Craig Tanner all scored very good goals to see off stubborn resistance from a Newport side who more than played their part, particularly in the first half.

But it is the Royals who made it through to Wednesday night's second round draw, and it was pleasing to leave Madejski Stadium with that winning feeling after the first of three home games in eight days.

Andy said, "Three moments of quality finishing got us over the line and into the next round.

"To be fair to Newport they started really well, got on the front foot and were having shots which wasn't in the script, but Pav's goal calmed us down. It was a fantastic finish, when you see it at first he looked a mile offside but he timed his run really well and showed great awareness.

"Nick Blackman scored another good goal, then I thought the impacts of Ryan [Edwards] and Craig [Tanner] when they came on were really good. They gave us fresh energy, complimented by Craig's finish at the end, another Academy lad to come through the system, play well and score. He'll remember that for a long time. His mentality when he came on was fantastic and he showed real quality.

"So we're delighted to get through, it was always going to be difficult against a Newport team who did really well last season and won at Brighton in this competition. We knew they'd be positive and compete, they did that right to the end of the game."

The Royals only made two changes to their starting XI, and Crosby explained that it was an intentional strategy to keep our tight young group playing together. "With it being a new team and a younger group, the more game time they get the better, and the more chance to build up partnerships. We're well aware of the schedule but we think at the moment this is the best way to do it, better for the group.

"And is this a competition we want to do well in? Yes, it is. Winning breeds confidence, and with it being a new group it's important we keep winning. We weren't too successful in this competition last year so to win tonight is a good thing.

"And it's not often you have three games at home on the spin so early in the season, so psychologically it's important to win tonight and you can keep that mindset going forward."

Reading's path to round two may have been easier if County had seen a man sent off for what Crosby thought was a surefire professional foul. "For me, Pav had the ball totally under control, it hadn't got away from him, it was a clear goalscoring opportunity. But the ref's got a quick decision to make and he chose to caution him."

One minor blip was the concession of a late set piece, and Andy admitted, "It was extremely frustrating to concede from a set play in the last minute of the game. Details like that can cost you a match. It's important we try to get every detail right, and people are aware that when they're on the pitch they've got a job to do.

"But we've won at home, we've spoken about the home form, and how we can get more points here. It's something we need to improve. Our away record was fantastic, we need to improve at home and hopefully the partnership between the team and the crowd grows. We've got so many people who've come through and are passionate about the football club, I'm sure the fans see that.

"And now we look to take this into Saturday's game at home to Ipswich, who had a good result themselves last weekend against Fulham."

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