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Captain up for the battle

18 August 2016

McShane on defeat to the Toon

Following a defeat at Newcastle, Reading skipper Paul McShane expressed his hope that the Royals can get a ruthless streak into their play and turn good footballing performances into the right result.

There was plenty of easy-on-the-eye football from Reading at St James’ Park on Wednesday as the Royals saw more of the ball than hosts Newcastle in a volatile atmosphere.  The teams were tied at 1-1 at the interval, but the Magpies scored three times after the break to give them a flattering margin.

So the skipper is hopeful that the team can do the ugly side of the game and score a few points in that way.

“The scoreline in the end was disappointing,” said the Royals skipper.  “But we conceded bad goals – we said before we went out for the second half that we wanted to start it well, which we didn’t do by conceding the penalty.  It shouldn’t have really got to that.
“At times we played really well and showed some good stuff and had a lot of possession, but we need to win individual battles and be a bit more aggressive, because when you come to places like this you need to win them – that’s how you get results.

“And we didn’t win second-balls – that’s what happened with the first goal; we didn’t win the second ball and we didn’t react quick enough.  That’s where you need to have a little bit of knowhow.  We need to get that because we’ve got the other side – the manager has us playing some really good stuff and everyone knows what they’re doing on the ball, and there’s some good cohesion at times when we do click with the ball.  But we’ve got to do the other side.
“That aggressiveness and desire to win is huge, and we need that.  We need that in everyone – everyone has to have that desire and passion to put their bodies on the line and win those tackles and those 50-50 battles in the centre of the pitch and in the two boxes.  Those things add up; we need to get that.”

The next opportunity to get the points come back at Madejski Stadium – where the Royals have won both competitive outings this season – when Brighton come to town on Saturday.

The Seagulls, who just missed out on promotion last season, have had a near-perfect start to the new campaign with three straight wins in all competitions – and McShane is confident that this team can go man for man with the league leaders.

“Brighton are a solid side and they have started well again," he continued.  "They had a great year last season, so we’ll need to match them.  We need to match these teams in the battle. 

“We can match teams in football – we can play teams off the park – but you have to have that streak in you.  That desire to win every battle on the pitch, and if the ball is there to be won, to win it.  You need to earn the right to play.  If we get that, we’ve got a very good side.”

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