"The whole team had an off day...but we will learn from our mistakes..."A bad day at the office? "You can say that again," the manager agreed after a heavy Carrow Road defeat this afternoon.
"We didn't start well, conceding a penalty straight away. We tried to get back into the game and a couple of chances came for us inside the box - and we should have made better choices.
"But both defensively and attacking-wise we couldn't bring what we should bring to today's game, what we have brought to the last couple of games that have led to good performances and good results against good teams.
"And maybe this is the next stage for this group in terms of becoming better; if it's not working out for us, if a number of the players aren't playing up to the standards we've set, what can we change as a team to make it more difficult for the opposition.
"We knew today's game was going to be a difficult one, but you don't want to lose by this scoreline. We were having great run...and then this happens.
"Every shot they took was on target was a goal. The second balls fell to their feet, instead of ours. Sometimes it happens. But we needed to do things better when our way of playing isn't working, we need to learn what we need to do to make it more difficult for our opponents. That is what we have been working on all season and something we clearly still need to improve on.
"As a team, we try to learn from our mistakes, and if you play a game like this, you could say 'it's an off day', that's the easy option, let's on to the next one. But we still need to improve and we need to talk about this one, the mistakes we made, how the opposition played...that's how you improve as a team, how I improve as a manager."
The Royals remain in fourth place in the league, going into the final five games of the Championship season. And the boss was confident that this team can respond in they way they have before throughout the current campaign.
"You're always looking for a reason...what happened, how is it possible? But sometimes you have these games, games where nothing works out for you!
"It's frustrating for the players - but they don't do it on purpose. And you have to remember that we're not up in the position we're in by luck. These players have been playing well, working hard and getting great results.
"It hasn't happened today. But we still have five games to secure the points we need for a top six spot. And that's what we're going to be doing.
"We've had defeats before and we're not in the position to think we can beat everybody in this league. But we're in the top six and we want to stay there. And we've bounced back well after defeats this season.
"The players have the mentality to do that and I'm very confident we'll be doing well in the games that remain this season.
"We are in a good position and we're on the right track, but we still need to improve a lot of things. The whole team had an off day today. But there are still five important games to play."