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Clarke reflects on cruel defeat

8 August 2015

Manager gives post-match reaction at St Andrew’s

Reading manager Steve Clarke was disappointed that there was nothing to show from such a dominant performance from his Royals side, as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Birmingham City.

The Royals rattled the woodwork on three occasions – and goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak had to make a spate of saves to keep the home side in front, including shutting out an injury-time penalty from debutant Orlando Sa.

Kuszczak was beaten when Aaron Tshibola’s stunning strike bounced down off the bar and appeared to have crossed the line, but the ruling went the other way as Reading were denied an equaliser.

“It’s a disappointing result,” said the Reading boss.  “They got a fortunate first goal with a deflected free-kick – I’ll need to have a little look at the organisation of the defenders and the wall, because I was a little unsure how it got through the wall and in.  

“That was a big break for them, because until then they hadn’t been in the game at all – we had bossed the game from the start.

“From there we lost control in the last five minutes of the first half.  We lost a little bit of discipline and a little bit of shape, and we started the second half in the same frame of mind – almost as if we were disappointed to be 1-0 down after such a good performance.  This can’t be – we have to be stronger mentally.

“But the players gave everything.  If you take that ten-minute spell out of the game, it’s almost total domination.  I think it must have been something in the region of 20 shots and close to half of them on target.

“We had a big chance with the penalty to rescue a point and it would have been more than deserved.  It was a day when we were punished very harshly for the few mistakes we made in the game.

“When I go away and reflect on it, there were a lot of pleasing things.  There were a lot of away games in the second half of last season and I don’t recall any where we had 20 shots on goal.”

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