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José | "I'm proud of my players' courage"

Royals boss reflects on a lack of killer instinct that cost us the result in spite of an encouraging performance at Old Trafford...

5 January 2019

The Royals passed the ball well, controlled the game for long periods, but bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup against Manchester United following goals from Romelu Lukaku and a Juan Mata penalty.

Royals boss José Gomes couldn't connect the performance with the result, happy that playing like that will result in wins but disappointed it didn't result in the goals it deserved.

"I'm very proud of the courage my players showed during the game," he said. 

"We controlled the game with the ball but if you give a team like this half a chance, they score. And that's what happened. 

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"My players tried to do on the pitch what we've been doing during the week, the only thing that was missing was the killer instinct, the final pass into the box, the chance to put the ball in the net.

"They moved the ball around the box well, but we lacked the killer instinct to put the ball in the back of the net.

"So, in this moment, I think we should focus on this. And - if we play like we did today against a very strong opponent in Manchester United - we will get the results we are trying to find."

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Callum Harriott, Andy Yiadom and John Swift all forced Sergio Romero into saves in the tie, while 18-year-old Danny Loader rounded the stopper but couldn't find the angle to squeeze a shot home in the first half. And the Royals' kept possession well and worked opportunities to score throughout.

"We are creating goalscoring situations, but if you don't shoot, if you don't score, it's impossible to win.

"I am frustrated by the result. The first goal scoring situation was ours - a cross from the left which Yids shot over. The second saw Danny dribble around the they tried.

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"We played well and kept the ball and created, but it means nothing if you don't put the ball in the net.

"I want my players to keep the ball, control the game, but in the right moment...kill. And that was what was missing in my team today.

"Play like that and good things will happen. The way we played today gives us hope for the future. We are fighting. And we are deserving more. in the end, we will get what we deserve."

A final note to the 3,000 travelling Royals fans who made themself heart at the Theatre of Dreams today.

"These players have not won many games recently. We need to change these numbers. And to change these numbers, the whole Reading family must be together. 

"Today, it was amazing to play in Old Trafford of course, but during the game we felt our supporters - around 3,000 I heard.

"It's fantastic. We need this help from our supporters in the next match to help the players put the ball in the opponent's net.

"So I am full of motivation. I feel that the players believe in what we are doing. So we need to win one game and completely turn around the situation we are in."

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