Vito Mannone says the Royals can take heart from a strong performance against Fulham, despite the result not going our way on the night.
A solitary goal from Stefan Johansen against the run of first half play put the promotion chasers ahead, a lead which they held until the full-time whistle.
Mannone and the Royals' defence weathered pressure in the second half as the Whites tried to add to their advantage, but Reading stood firm to keep the deficit to one goal and keep the fight going until the final whistle.
“We started well, we put Fulham under a lot of pressure," Mannone said. "There were a couple of chances where we should maybe have scored, and that would have probably changed the game.
“We kept going and we kept the shape the gaffer told us to keep, I thought we did alright until the goal. Unfortunately one little lapse in concentration and we conceded – after that, it’s a difficult game.
“I thought we were in it, we didn’t create so many shots and opportunities – which is something we need to improve on. We kept going until the end, we were attacking with three forwards and even a defender.
“We tried our best, it was good not to concede again and we keep positive and now focussing on a massive game on Saturday – which is another final."
The Royals dominated the opening exchanges at Craven Cottage on the night, pressing high and limiting the hosts' opportunities going forward, something which Mannone says the team can be happy with.
“We were really frustrating them I think," he continued. "The crowd was getting on them a bit because they couldn’t play their normal passing game. We defended well and it was a shame to concede, especially because after they lost the ball I thought we kept it really well.
“We started to build our confidence but obviously the goal comes and it changes the wave of the game.
“After that, you’re kind of chasing the game and it’s difficult against a team like this, but we weren’t far off.
“It’s a team that’s going for promotion and probably will get promoted but we’re training really hard, we’re improving and we’re focussed on the positives.
“There were a lot of positives from Tuesday night, and there have been a lot of positives from the last three games since the manager came in.
“It’s good that we’ve got two wins at home and we need to aim for another one on Saturday."
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