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Boss: We had chances to win

8 March 2014

Adkins reflects on 1-1 draw

The Royals moved up to sixth after a 1-1 draw at Brighton, but boss Nigel Adkins wanted all three points after a game that we could well have won.

We started well, only to concede an own goal which gave the home side the upper hand for the rest of the first half. We again began the second half well, saw Brighton go down to ten men and Royston Drenthe equalise with his first Reading goal.

We then had a couple of penalty claims and Albion keeper Tomasz Kuszczak made man-of-the-match saves, while Seagulls also had a couple of late sniffs in an entertaining match.

Adkins reflected, "It was a game we were looking to get three points from, but we've come away with one. It's always a difficult place to come to - they're a good side Brighton.

"I thought we started the game well, we looked comfortable in possession against a side that are very, very good with the ball. We wanted to keep it, we created good opportunities in the first moments - but low and behold we gave away another stupid goal from our point of view. Aimless ball into the box and Chrissy has gone and headed the ball past Alex, and it gives them the lead. But we regrouped and did alright. 

"After an hour or so the player has been sent off but that was only from good play from ourselves, making the defender having to stop Alfie.

"We had loads of opportunities to go and score - nice to see Royston score. We've talked about his ability and again, if we can get him in good areas of the pitch then he's got it within him to beat someone one on one and put shots and crosses in. We're pleased that he's got on the scoresheet."

The concession of a poor goal irked the boss, who said, "Unfortunately, yet again, it's an awful goal we've gone and given away. We've regrouped and we're frustrated now as we haven't taken all three points. We totally dominated the second half, yes they've had a player sent off as the game has gone on, and rightly so - but we've got to put the ball in the back of the net.

"We've passed the football, we haven't just got it and shelled it, we've passed the football - which is what I want us to do. The goalkeeper has got man of the match and they've had to pack the defence, but we've had enough opportunities to go and win the game."

As the first of three games in eight days, the boss made four changes, two through injury and two after players came back from international duty. The boss explained, "We had to change things around, the international break has affected the group. But that's what we talk about, the group. I thought that Michael Hector did great for us at centre half, coming through the Academy system. 

"Now it's Leeds and we'll take care of business with our recovery strategies in the dressing room. Train again in the morning, take stock, put the game plan together then train again on Monday morning and travel to Leeds for what we all know will be a very challenging game at Elland Road

"All the players are going to contribute and we've talked about that. We've got another hard fixture now against Leeds, but when you look at the teams we've gone and played away from home, the teams at the very, very top, we've aquitted ourselves well in all those games.

"The way I look at it, everything is in our own hands."

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