Reading’s ten men battled bravely at Villa Park, but were eventually picked off by the promotion-chasing Villans who triumphed 3-0 on Tuesday evening.
The Royals’ chances were limited after Dave Edwards’ first-half dismissal, and defender Liam Moore gave his reaction to the result.
“I thought we started the game pretty solidly – they were on top, but we defended well. The sending off changed everything though, and even though we got through to half-time we knew it was going to be difficult.
“We wanted to get 10 or 15 minutes in the second half to frustrate them, but when they score such a good goal it swings the momentum. It’s a big pitch and a long time to get back in the game, but with ten men it’s very difficult.
“We dealt with them pretty well in the first half – we’re defending our box in a different way and I feel like it’s working. But the spaces are big with ten men, and it’s very difficult. The pressure told and we came away with nothing.
“They were doubling up down the sides and dragging our wingers back. We were trying to play 4-4-1 but it ended up at times with the wingers tracking back and the striker isolated up front. We wanted to play on the break but they sat back and everything that went up there came back at us.
“We know exactly what went wrong today; the red card is the most obvious thing but there’s other things that we could have done better.
“Preston is going to come around quickly, so we have to put this game to the side, pick ourselves up and go again on Saturday.”