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Adkins: Free kick decision key

3 November 2014

Boss unhappy with set piece award

Manager Nigel Adkins pinpointed the decision for Blackburn's second goal as a key moment in our 3-1 defeat at Ewood Park.

The Royals edged the first half and went in on level terms, but Hal Robson-Kanu was harshly penalised on the edge of our own box on the hour; Ben Marshall curling home a superb set piece.

Reading had been well in the game until then, especially considering the absence of the suspended Michael Hector, but going behind for a second time gave Rovers the key advantage.

Adkins said, "As the away side I thought we did well in the first half, and Blackburn are in good form.

"We hit the crossbar at 0-0 through Glenn Murray, and deserved to get an equaliser when we did.

"Then at half time the vibe was good in the dressing room, and I said to the players to have belief and make it the first time we've come from behind to win a game.

"We came out brightly again, but then in my opinion it's not a free kick for their goal. It's a great finish, take nothing away from him, but I've seen it back four or five times and it's a big turning point and shouldn't have been a foul. We were on the counter attack, their man has gone down because he knew Hal was away from him.

"So then Blackburn's confidence grew, the crowd helped them and they've gone on to win so well done to them."
 
He continued, "We responded well to going 1-0 down, but didn't have the verve at 2-1 down.

"We'll keep driving the players on to improve when we're behind - but the key is to not go behind in the first place!"

Reflecting on his team selection for the game, the boss explained, "For every game we analyse the opposition and put the team out we think is best suited to win the game.

"Today we knew if we played with our two wingers right out wide, Blackburn would have a field day in the middle of the park because they play narrow.

"We put our players in between the lines so they could drive forward like they did at the start of the season, and I thought in the first half it worked well, Blackman was outstanding doing that."

Asked by the press if the margin of defeat was harsh, Nigel said, "I'm glad you said that - I could have said that a few times this season but it is what it is.

"We just keep moving forward; Jake Cooper has come in for his second game and did well again, it's also pleasing to have the likes of Anton Ferdinand and Danny Williams available on the bench.

"For the first time in a while we had experienced players on the bench, not just in the starting eleven. So we have to keep looking forward."

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