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Royals' defensive record in last 8

30 January 2015

Boss assesses attacking balance

In eight games in charge, Steve Clarke's Royals have conceded seven goals, compared to the 13 against us during the team's previous eight games.

Naturally, when a team becomes tighter at one end it is harder to be free-scoring at the other, and when asked about attacking prowess by our local press, Steve said, "We're working on it on the training pitch, but rather than just looking at cutting edge, you have to look at the positives that the team has tightened up.

"Millwall was a game that earlier in the season might have been different, and even in my first game against Watford, they went down to ten men and beat us 1-0. So maybe we've learned a little bit, and at least we took a point. It might turn out to be important.

"So you have to balance it up. We've made the team tighter, harder to beat, we're conceding fewer goals, maybe that's taken a little of the sharpness away from the front end of the pitch. It's something that over a period, and I've only been here a few weeks, you have to keep working on and get the balance right, between defending really well and sharpening up the attack.

"Maybe the reaction to a 0-0 at Millwall was a little over the top, it's a difficult place to go and the second half was difficult. We controlled the game, didn't create as much as we'd have liked but it's something we can work on. If you go back to Cardiff, second half with a front three, we looked dangerous and created chances. So you have to look at all the games and what we're doing as a group.

"I think there's been an improvement, I can see it, and most people would say the same. Six weeks down the line, we've improved, and in another six weeks if we've improved again we'll be fine."

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