Sheffield United had had opportunities before they opened the scoring through Billy Sharp in the 11th minute on Tuesday evening – and Mark Duffy’s firecracker had the Blades two goals to the good before the break.
Pelle Clement admitted that the team had given themselves too much to do to get back into the game… Omar Richards’ second pro goal gave the Royals a lifeline but Sharp’s second killed things off after Leandro Bacuna’s penalty was saved.
“It was a frustrating night,” Clement said. “We threw away the whole game in the first half. We spoke at half-time and said that we had to give ourselves and the fans something else in the second half.
“I thought we did that and we scored a good goal – we were unlucky with the penalty, but that can happen. That’s football.
“We have to take the initiative ourselves and not make easy mistakes that cost us goals. We need to sort things out – it’s happening every time and it’s very frustrating.
“With what we showed in the second half… if we can do that from the start, then we can beat most teams in this competition. But it’s difficult to say why we haven’t been doing that.”