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Interviews

Hec: “When we go behind, we come back with character”

7 March 2016

Midfielder gives reaction to Cottagers stalemate

Reading defender Michael Hector was pleased with the character that the Royals showed against Fulham at Madejski Stadium on Saturday after an initial slow start and trailing in the early stages.

Moussa Dembele, who netted twice in the Craven Cottage fixture, was at it again and put the visitors ahead after just eight minutes.  But Reading kicked into gear and a Hal Robson-Kanu brace had the hosts in the ascendency.

Fulham ultimately took a point from the fixture as Ross McCormack converted a penalty, and Reading’s late barrage wasn’t quite rewarded as the Cottagers repelled the waves of attack.  But the midfield enforcer, who picked up the Man of the Match champagne after the match, was pleased that Reading didn’t go into their shell after an early setback.

“We controlled the game and passed the ball well,” said Hector.  “Their first goal was a bit sloppy on our behalf but thought we responded really well.  We got the penalty from a great little run from Hal, and then it was a great penalty from him; then we dominated and got the second goal and I felt like we were in control. 

“We started the second half unbelievably well and on the front foot, the fans were buzzing, but then a sloppy passage of play and they got in with the penalty.  We had several chances to win the game but it just wasn’t to be.

“We’ve changed our attitudes; when we do go a goal down we come back with more character.  The players are starting to lead more and they’re pushing for a result.  We started off poor but showed a bit of fight.”

“Ola John again today was magnificent, and then we had Garath McCleary coming on to replace Hal, so that’s another great winger terrorising their full backs.  But it just wasn’t to be, the final pass, the final ball in, it just didn’t seem to beat the final man. 

“We’ll take the positives, we scored two goals and another good display upfront we just have to try and keep a clean sheet.  We know if we keep a clean sheet, we know we’ll score and that’s what breeds wins and grows confidence through the team.”

It is a big week ahead for Reading – a trip up to Huddersfield on Tuesday evening is followed by a FA Cup quarter-final against Premier League outfit Crystal Palace on Friday evening.

“We’ve got to look to pick up points in the league on Tuesday, and then Friday it’s the FA Cup,” he continued.  “We’ve got another chance to get to Wembley, but first we need to take care of Tuesday and then we can look forward to Crystal Palace on Friday.

“If we get a run together and pick up wins, you never know where it can push us.  Playing Tuesdays and Saturdays, they come thick and fast and we could pick up a lot of points this way.  We’re disappointed not to get the win against Fulham but we’re still unbeaten in six games now.”

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