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PC: "Everyone watching would recognise that was a harsh result on us"

Royals boss gives his assessment of a cruel, cruel defeat on the opening day against Derby

3 August 2018

Harsh. Cruel. Disappointing. All words that could describe the very end of our curtain-raiser against Frank Lampard's Rams. But the performance was a good one which deserved more than that hammer blow at the end.

"After six weeks of preparation, you want to do well in the first game. So the result is a blow – particularly conceding so late in the game," he began.

"I thought we played really well, both defensively and offensively. On another day we could have come away with all the points!

"Based on the chances that we created, it's a game we could have won. We had a good amount of opportunities in the first half and a good performance, although didn’t get the lead that we really needed.

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"Yet we came out strong again and scored a wonderful goal to put us in the lead. Lovely move across to the left, a super cross from Barrow and a well-executed header from Bodvarsson.

"Derby went a bit more direct in the second half and spaces opened up.They went a little bit more direct, they looked to turn us a little bit more.

"After we scored, the atmosphere was buoyant and the fans were enjoying seeing their team playing well.

"But the first goal they scored was a soft one and Vito will know he's got to do better with that one. But then he made that save at the end to balance it out you could say.

"A draw was probably the fair result. But that last effort from them was from freshness from the substitute and fatigue from us.

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"When fatigue sets in you make mistakes and that one moment was the difference. But fair play to them. They pushed to the end. They got the positive result. 

"There were lots of encouraging things – but in game one, we’ve had a lesson already.  If you aren’t going to win or draw that game, certainly don’t lose it in that manner.

"You can't lose that game, you just can't. You do everything to make sure you do not lose that game. And that is a less we've learned on day one of the league."

The performance warranted more, very few would disagree with that. And Clement was keen to take the positives from a display which will have shown Reading fans a little of what to expect this season in terms of work rate, counter attacking football and sheer determination.

"After a tough pre-season, the players have gone out there and in a majority of cases have done their jobs very well.

Match Reports

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"We can't all be doom and gloom. The shape of the team was good, we made it really difficult for them to get through us and create any decent chances at all in the first half.

"And we had some real good chances, just missing that final pass to create really good opportunities.

"But in the end it was a fantastic ball in and a wonderful header by them – a great moment for Derby and their fans and Frank Lampard in his first game.

"And we have to move on. This is the way it goes – there are lessons to be learned and we’ll aim to put in another good performance next week.

"We’re professionals – we’ll go about our business and prepare well for the next game against Nottingham Forest.  And then after that we have a midweek game back here against Birmingham City… we’ll do our best in every game we play."


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