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Boss' reaction to last minute disappointment

3 December 2015

Steve Clarke gives his post-match thoughts to a late home loss

“I’ve learned a lot over the years and I know that when you’re in a bad run, if you make any little mistakes you get punished for them. That was the case tonight,” manager Steve Clarke said after seeing a point snatched from his team’s grasp in the 90th minute of a game the Royals deserved something from.

“It was a tight game between two teams who didn’t want to give much away. It was always going to be decided by one goal.

“I haven’t seen it again, but a couple of people said the ball slipped in at the near post for the goal. The marking wasn’t very good from the corner either.

“So it’s disappointing to lose a goal so late. Especially when I don’t think a loss is a fair reflection of the game.

“We had moments in the game where we could have scored and we could have got the first goal.

“In the first half we were definitely the better team – but the longer it went on the more nervous we got in trying to see out the game and keep a clean sheet, something we haven’t been able to do recently.

“We went a bit more solid to try to stop the goals going in at the other end from open play, which we did. We kept our shape, defensively we were strong and QPR didn’t look like opening us up from open play at all.

“But when you sacrifice a little bit to make yourself better defensively, you give a little bit away in the fact you can’t create so many chances.

“Earlier in the season, the players were trying little flicks and they were coming off, now they’re being intercepted. That’s what happens when you lose a bit of confidence.

“We had two or three really good opportunities in the second half to make breaks on them and the passes didn’t quite get to where they should be going. The players are seeing the pass, but they aren’t quite making them all right now.

“We conceded from a set play which is disappointing, of course, but tonight the team worked hard, from the first minute to the last.

“And the only way out of a run like this is to work harder. The resolve of the team was good tonight and we’ll keep working hard on the training pitch, we’ll keep trying to find solutions, we’ll keep trying to get ourselves out of this little run.”

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