In his second appearance as a Royal, Sam Walker could do very little about Domingos Quina's top corner strike that stunned Madejski Stadium last night as Watford's top flight class told. But the Royals stopper reflected on the positives we can take from Wednesday night's defeat.
"It’s a disappointing result obviously. I felt that there wasn’t a huge difference in the first half between the sides even though they went in 1-0 up just before half-time.
"For much of that first half though, I thought our performance had matched theirs. We worked on the shape in training the day before the game; it’s a shape that many of us have played over the course of our careers and it’s become a lot more popular in the game nowadays.
"The back three felt really solid, but when we went behind we had to go and chase the game and change the shape slightly to get more attacking players on the pitch.
"And they got the second goal when we were chasing the game."
As Quina found the top corner, it gave Javi Gracia's men one foot into the Third Round and the Hornets remain unbeaten in all competitions this season, sitting joint top of the Premier League.
"That’s the kind of quality you get at the very top level," Walker said. "The slightest mistakes get punished. Their second goal was fantastic – those are the sorts of goals that you just have to applaud.
"As I said, I don’t think there was a huge gulf between the teams; our shape was good and tactically we were switched on. But there were moments of quality when they were better than us, and that cost us."
Walker was making his second appearance in Reading colours, having kept a clean sheet against Birmingham City in the First Round of the competition.
"I feel happy and settled after the first month or so. Vito, Anssi and all of the goalkeepers with Dave Beasant are a great bunch to work with.
"I was pleased to get my second game against Watford; unfortunately we didn’t go through. But I was generally pleased with my own performance.
"And I feel that I’ve adjusted quickly. I always felt ready for this level, so it was a matter of being confident and coming in and showing what I’m about."
And a massive home game against Sheffield Wednesday now awaits us this weekend.
"Now we’re all looking forward to Sheffield Wednesday. We’ve spoken about it in the dressing room; we know it’s a big game for us, and every game in this league is big.
"They all provide different challenges, but it’s one we’ll be ready for. We’ll be in recovering on Thursday and preparing well for the game.
"And the boys will be ready and raring to go on Saturday."