Al Habsi reflects on a 2-0 defeat against a strong City sideRoyals stopper Ali Al Habsi could do very little about either of Birmingham City's two match-winning first half goals, but was just as disappointed with a team performance that failed to match up to those that secured wins against Bolton and Nottingham Forest earlier in the week.
"I don’t think we played like ourselves. I’m very disappointed that we didn't play like we did against Bolton and Forest in midweek," he told Reading FC Player HD after the weekend defeat.
"We didn’t start the game as we would have wanted and they scored a second one in the first half – and after that we tried to come back into the game but they stayed back and defended very well. And it was one of those games, where if you don’t start how you want to, you’ll be punished.
"They punished us first half with those two goals and we have to say sorry to the supporters today, because they would have expected us to put in a performance like we had in the two games earlier in the week. But the performance today wasn’t good enough for anyone.
"The performances have been fantastic at home in 2016 - we hadn’t lost here in the league before today and we had won six points in our last two games. We came here today hoping to have another game like those – but it didn’t happen and we weren’t happy with what we showed against a good Birmingham team.
"This game has gone now, though. We have two big away games, and we have to get back to how we played earlier in the week and go forward.
"We have to go to Middlesbrough 100%. Middlesbrough need a win to challenge for the top of the league, we are away from home, so it will be tough. but we want to put this game in front of us and look forward to it."