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Clarke: Game slipped away from us

24 February 2015

Boss reflects on 3-0 defeat

Royals boss Steve Clarke was disappointed to see the game at Huddersfield 'slip away' from his team.

1-0 down at half time, Reading were very much in the game, but two more second half goals and a couple of rare defensive errors saw us go down 3-0 to the Terriers.

Clarke said, "It's disappointing, it was a game that slipped away from us.

"We gave away a sloppy goal from a set play which is very unlike us and it put us back on the back foot.

"Then we came into the game OK, got a foothold and their goalkeeper made a great save off Hope Akpan, and Jake Taylor had a big chance at the back post.

"It's all about small margins and if one of them goes in it's a different game.

"So at half time we were in the game and we had a chance. But unfortunately Adam [Federici] made a mistake, he doesn't make many and from there it was a long way back. We risked it then and got caught for a third."

Clarke made six changes to his starting XI, keeping the same back five but amending the rest of his team amid a heavy run of fixtures.

He said, "I'm a little disappointed for the boys who came in, they tried hard and at one stage it looked like we'd get something but it was strange, like I say it slipped away from us.

"I'm ten weeks into the job, and it's always difficult to know when is the right time to make the changes. I just felt that in this run of horrendous fixtures, it was right to give one or two a rest and I had to look at some players as well.

"In the first half, you could see the players that I put on the pitch were good enough to win the game, it just wasn't our night.

"I didn't change the defensive players and if you look at the goals we conceded, they can be a consequence of a little bit of mental tiredness and mental fatigue.

"It's just where we are, the run of games we're in, we've had a hell of run. We've seemed to struggle between the Saturday and Tuesday games, I'm hoping between Tuesday and Saturday we'll get it right."

Last but not least, players rightly went over to our 187 travelling fans, with Steve saying, "It's right that the players acknowledge the supporters, we talk about the number of games the players are playing and it's the same for the fans.

"187 might not sound a lot but it's a big effort for them and we appreciate their support, we're not happy that they go away disappointed."

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