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Clarke: "We were in control"

11 April 2015

Manager on Blackburn draw

Steve Clarke was pleased to see his side control the game against Blackburn on Saturday afternoon, and hailed a marked improvement in his side.

The Royals enjoyed the better of the possession and the chances at Madejski Stadium, but were denied at the last as Hope Akpan's header was hacked off the line in stoppage time.

“We’ve had a few games this year where we’ve had chance after a chance, and especially here at home where you’re thinking the goal will come – and again it didn’t come today,” said Clarke.

“But today was slightly different, we changed the shape of the team, we played a different way, we certainly passed the ball better and played more football. We controlled the game pretty much from start to finish. I had a chat with the groundsman in the week and asked him to cut it a little bit shorter for us, it allowed us to pass the ball nicely. The only thing that was missing, and it’s been missing a few times this season, was getting the goal. But the team performance was very good.

“There was a great block on the line at the end. When you have 15 corners in a game you have to make them count, we should’ve got a goal from at least one of them.”

The match, of course, was a special one for the club – as they sported a kit designed by 14-year-old fan Ryan Duval.

“It’s a great project, it started long before I came to the club and the players that have been involved in it for a long time would have enjoyed that day as much as Ryan, because they’ve been working towards that. I know Ryan and all his school chums were down there watching the game. The only slight disappointment was on the day we didn’t get a win for him. But a fantastic project, a great effort from Ryan and all his schoolmates – it’s great when this kind of thing can happen in professional football because at the end of the day we’re here for the public and it was a great occasion.”

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