Manager assesses goalless draw against UnitedRoyals boss Steve Clarke was pleased with the sturdiness that his Reading team showed in a goalless draw against Leeds United at Madejski Stadium which earned his side their first point of the campaign.
Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond had a relatively quiet afternoon and was rarely called into action, thanks to some hard work all over the pitch by the outfield players. And after a second clean sheet on the bounce, Clarke was satisfied with a firm defensive showing.
“It was two strong teams and nobody was giving anything away – both teams were good defensively,” he explained. “It was a game of very few chances and you’re looking for something off a set-play today.
“I think we created the best chance in the second half – Orlando Sa’s chance when he went through in the inside-left channel was a big chance, and on another day he’d stick it in the net and it’d be a different story.
“But the positives are another clean sheet and that the team was solid, and it’s one point more than we had out of these two fixtures last year. I know it’s only a small crumb, but it’s a fact – last year we lost at home to Leeds in a very similar game as today. We got caught and sucker-punched on the counter-attack a couple of times last year. Last season we lost that type of game and this season it looks as though we’re not going to, which is good going forward.
“It’s very rare that a team will score three goals every week to win – so if you concede two like we did last week at Birmingham, it becomes difficult. In midweek against Colchester we kept a clean sheet and managed to get the goal; today we didn’t manage to get the goal but we kept another clean sheet. So it’s onwards and upwards.
“You have to give yourself a platform to win games, and in the last two matches we have given ourselves that platform. On Tuesday night we managed to win, and today we managed to get a point. The dressing room feels good and we move onto the next game.”