There were another couple of Madejski Stadium debuts on Saturday – Sone Aluko started, and Dave Edwards came off the bench.
Yet what was an overall dominant display by the Royals went wholly unrewarded, as Aden Flint hammered in on the half-volley with just six minutes remaining for Bristol City – condemning the Royals to a first home defeat in almost eight months.
Edwards admitted that when he was introduced for his bow in the second period, he had felt that if any team was going to win it, it would be the Royals.
“It was nice to get on the field in a Reading shirt, but the overriding emotion is disappointment in a game where we had a lot of chances,” Edwards said. “Unfortunately we just couldn’t get the ball in the back of the net.
“Like most games, the opposition will get one or two chances – and that one dropped at the edge of the box and they struck it well. But there are plenty of positives to take. Hopefully we can just get the ball in the back of the net next week.
“Football is a rollercoaster in terms of emotions. You really have to take the lows with the highs and not let yourself get too down or too high. We have to take positives from the performance in terms of chances created – we looked very dangerous. But we need to get the ball in the net and kill games off a bit rather than riding our luck.
“I was sat on the sidelines chomping at the bit to get on, and to try to get myself a goal. I got a chance but it probably came a bit too early, and I was on the back foot a bit and didn’t quite make a good enough contact.
“I always thought I’d get a sniff or that one of the other lads would get a chance, but it just wasn’t to be.
“Win, lose or draw… you have to take the experience of the game with you. You have to learn from every single game, and that’s even more so when you lose. We have to look at things we could have done better – there are always some, especially in the second half when we had them pinned back and could have done better.
“There’s a lot to work on as always – there’s a lot of new players who joined this summer so it’s about growing together as a team and I personally think we’re only going to get better the more we know each other.”