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McCleary | "We need to dig in"

Attacker reviews Rotherham draw

24 February 2019

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Garath McCleary says the Royals were disappointed to come away with only one point against Rotherham United on Saturday afternoon.

Ovie Ejaria finished off a well-worked team move from McCleary's assist to put the Royals ahead on the half-hour mark, before Semi Ajayi capitalised on an error at the back to ensure the points were shared in RG2 on Saturday.

The winger also paid tribute to the Reading supporters in attendance who made themselves heard as the teams fought out on the pitch.

"It was a major disappointment, to play here at home we need to make it as tough as possible," he explained.

"The fans gave it a good go today, it was a very, very good atmosphere. The added props that they had made a massive difference, so shout out to them. 

"But it was a game that we should have won. We had our chances, and it was a mistake that obviously led to their goal.

"Everyone - even players who didn't play - were willing everyone else on. It's now where we need to dig in, it's going to be tough until the end of the season.

"It's been tough up until now, and we expect it to get tougher, so we have to roll our sleeves up now and fight for each other."

Up until Ajayi's equaliser, Reading had led through a goal of real quality. Nine players were involved as the Royals worked their way into the Rotherham half.

McCleary provided a typically surging run down the left, teeing up Ejaria for a smart finish that had given Reading the lead in the first half.

Club News

Gallery | Reading vs Rotherham

23 February 2019

On the goal itself, McCleary added: "It was good play. We've changed our philosophy, we want to play out around the back and get it forward as quickly as possible if the pass is on.

"It's bread and butter for me - getting down the line, trying to beat my man and get the ball in the box; that's what I'm expected to do.

"It was a good goal but, obviously, I'm still disappointed that we didn't win the game."

Despite late disappointment at Madejski Stadium, McCleary says the Royals are aware of the challenge in front of them for the rest of the season, and is confident in the approach the squad are taking.

"I think with the way that we're playing, it's very good for the players we've got - it's a style of football we all like, so long may it continue and hopefully we can get some wins. 

"It's a really big run of games coming up. It's a game we should have won today, we wanted to win it, every game we go into, we try to win.

"It doesn't matter if they're at the top of the league or the bottom, every game is tough but every game is winnable.

"We'll be going into next week against Ipswich with the same mentality to win the game."

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