Defender reflects on 1-1 draw with RotherhamReading defender Michael Hector reflected on an entertaining and open fixture against Rotherham United, which saw the two teams share the spoils with a 1-1 draw.
The Royals led at the break through Nick Blackman, but Danny Collins volleyed the equaliser shortly after half-time. Steve Clarke’s men opted to take a risk and keep the game open as they searched for a winner; that meant that Ali Al-Habsi and the defence were called into action on a few occasions.
Royals defender Hector likened the second half of the match to a video game, as the two teams attacked and counter-attacked in search of a match-winner that neither team could quite find.
“In the first half we controlled the game really well,” said Hec. “After the goal especially we kept the ball well, but in the second half we conceded early from a set piece which let their crowd get into it. They were very flat first half, but second half it was very end-to-end, like FIFA! It was pretty scrappy and it played into their hands; Rotherham played really well and if they play like that they won’t be in the bottom three this season, that's for sure.
“We controlled the game well in the first half and kept their shots to a minimum, and after half-time we opened up and went for the win. I think the fact we gambled left us exposed at the back, but we dealt with it well – and Ali made a great save to get us the point. Obviously we’re disappointed we didn’t get the three points, but we got a point more than we got here last season.
“The important thing is we keep the unbeaten run going and that’s a positive we can take from the game tonight.”
Even on FIFA 16, scoring a goal of the same calibre as Blackman’s at New York Stadium is a rarity.
Oliver Norwood spotted the forward on the run – the midfield man hit a perfectly-weighted ball into his path, and after Blackman controlled on his chest he lashed in his 11th goal of the campaign past the helpless Lee Camp.
“Nick’s got quality – he just needed a run of games,” he continued. “The class for the finish today was Premier League standard.
“The more games he plays, the more confidence he’s getting. He’s on fire at the moment. He is scoring all types of goals and Ollie’s pass to find him was top drawer.”
While the Royals team can’t simulate a season in an afternoon like they can on FIFA, the games are still coming thick and fast. Barely has the curtain fallen on the Millers fixture, and the focus has already switched to Saturday’s trip to Fulham.
Hec continued: “We’ll be looking to get into preparation for Fulham as quickly as possible – we’ll train on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s an earlier kick-off so we need to make sure we get the recovery right and prepare right for the game, and try and keep this run going.”