It was a disappointing opening day for the ten men of Reading as QPR inflicted a Loftus Road defeat on Jaap Stam's side - and the manager was open and honest in his assessment of a poor performance from his side.
“We knew QPR’s intention to press us high up the pitch, not giving us any opportunity to play out and create chances – and that’s what they’ve done. And they did it very well.
"Credit to them, they deserved the win. They fought for every yard on the pitch, won second balls, but they were also better than us on the ball and they worked well together. We didn’t – and it looked like we weren’t ready for it.
"We weren't sharp enough, not aggressive enough, not good enough on the ball like we normally are. We were up against an opposition who played well, but we were not playing to our high standards.
"They created chances and they scored. Even without playing well, we created a couple of good chances but we didn’t score.
"If you don’t play well - then other things don’t go well for you. So it was a difficult afternoon and we definitely need to do a lot better."
Stam handed debuts to three new signings and brought a fourth off the bench in the second half, but also had to name three young Academy players in his squad as a lengthy injury list hits us hard at the start of the new season.
"We need to look at getting some of the injured players back into the squad as soon as possible and we will keep looking to get extra players in as well. But today's defeat is not down to that, it’s down to ourselves and how we played," Stam continued.
"We didn’t play well first half, we gave them a couple of opportunities to score by passing to their men. And yet at 1-0, coming out for the second half, you want to get back into the game.
"But the red card and the penalty, you're 2-0 down and it’s very hard to get back into the game.
"I brought Mo Barrow into the game to attack and go forward with his pace and qualty, and then going down to ten men he needed to drop in and defend more than he could go forward. So the red card was a turning point.
"But even at 1-0, we had a big chance to get back level...and we didn't. It was one of those afternoons when you’re not playing well and that makes it difficult to finish those opportunities."
"We weren't sharp enough, not aggressive enough, not good enough on the ball like we normally are. We need to do a lot better."
"We have spoken about how difficult this season is going to be. Everybody knows how we play now, as individuals and as a team. But the play-off final has to be an inspiration to the players. So we really need to step up if we want to at least do the same as last season."
The Royals now host three home games within the space of a week, starting with a Carabao Cup game against Gillingham on Tuesday night.