Full-back reflects on Cardiff defeatA 2-0 defeat in Cardiff for the Royals took the team to a winless run of five games – but Royals full-back Chris Gunter is confident that the group will come out of it as a stronger unit.
“It’s a tough run at the minute,” Gunter said. “We’re in a run where we’re not playing fantastic, but I don’t think we’re playing really poorly. Sometimes when you’re in a little bad run, those rebounds and the bounce of the ball don’t go for you. There’s only one way to turn that around, and that’s to work hard.
“Everyone is obviously really happy when we’re on a good run and over the course of a 46-game season you have to be realistic and know that you’re going to go through little runs when things aren’t going for you. That’s when you need everyone to stick their chests out and work hard to get out of it.
“Looking back in hindsight, the last international break probably didn’t come at a great time – we were on a real good run and then we had a two-week break. Since then we haven’t quite reached the heights we were before.
“You’re not going to go every week and play fantastic and have everything fall your way; we want to be successful come the end of the season, and the teams that are – especially in this league – are the ones that can work through these runs and come out stronger on the other side. The sooner you can do that, the better.”
The Welshman, who will be returning to the Cardiff City Stadium to occupy the home dressing room against the Netherlands at the weekend, was disappointed that a close-fought game was lost to two set plays – Kenwyne Jones heading in a deep free-kick, and Matthew Connolly nodding home a corner.
But it’ll be a case of pulling together for the team and Gunter feels the team can get back to the place they were at earlier in the season, when wins were coming thick and fast.
“There was almost nothing in the game, and then right on half-time we conceded from a set-play,” he explained. “They’re the disappointing ones – Cardiff are a big team and they’re a threat from set-plays, but when you sit down at the end of the game and know that you’ve lost the game on two set-plays it is disappointing.
“We know that when we were keeping clean sheets, it was because of the team. Equally when we were scoring goals and playing really good football attacking-wise, it is because of the team as well. We just need to keep working and realise that we are in tricky little run.
“Now we’ve got a break to refresh – there are no international breaks coming up after this one so it’s all guns blazing for the next few months.
“We’ll get back to where we were and we’ll look back and say that we came out of that tough little spell as a better team and better for it.”