Boss disappointed after Forest defeatNot converting any of our chances when well on top in the first half cost us the chance to beat Nottingham Forest - that was the post-match verdict of manager Steve Clarke.
The Royals went into half time having shown quality, passion and verve, but with no goals to show for their efforts. Simon Cox shot over from 12 yards, Garath McCleary saw an effort cleared off the line and Pavel Pogrebnyak had another goalbound effort blocked as we played well in the first 45 minutes.
But three second half Forest goals, including sensational strikes from Ben Osborn and sub Gary Gardner, gave in-form Forest the points.
Clarke said after the game, "I thought first half we were really good, as well as we've played for a long time. We had a good control of the game, created two really good chances to score but didn't take them and suffered for it in the second half.
"We're not a team who creates a lot of chances, so when they come we have to be clinical. At 1-0 we had another good chance to equalise. We keep getting into good goalscoring positions but at the moment it doesn’t look like we’re going to score any goals and that is a big concern for us.
"The goal that put us behind was a great strike; you don’t see too many of them but we saw two great strikes in the same game today.
"After the first goal we recovered quite well and created some good moments with one really good chance across the box.
"If you’re playing in a team that’s full of confidence, like Forest are, then we probably would have got a finish but we’re lacking a little bit of confidence and personality in the team at the moment.
"I’m sorry for the supporters because I felt today they tried to get right behind us. It's a disappointing result."
We have found goals hard to come by throughout the campaign, and Steve affirmed, "We need some people to step up to the mark and start scoring goals. There are goals in the team but there obviously aren’t enough. It’s something that we have to try and address. You only have to look in the goals-for column to see that.
"It’s not just a problem over the last 10 weeks, it’s a season-long problem. It’s something that we have to try and address but it’s difficult to get a lot of work in on the training ground. The offensive players have to step up to the mark a little bit."
We now travel to Bolton on Tuesday evening, and the boss said there is no doubt in the players' minds about the need for points. "The players are aware of the position they're in in the table and of their responsibilities to the club and fans, that we get away from the bottom of the table as quickly as possible.
"Bolton on Tuesday is about going out and getting some points on the board. We’re still not safe from relegation and you keep looking over your shoulder. I don’t know if the players worry about it but I know I certainly do. I keep reminding the players that they have a responsibility to the football club and the supporters to get the points required and we’ll try to get some more points on Tuesday."