Nélson Oliveira’s debut goal from the penalty spot looked like it was going to be the decider in Bolton – right until Jack Hobbs’ header stole a point for Wanderers in gut-wrenching fashion.
But it wasn’t in that moment alone that the result was decided. José Gomes, the Royals boss, felt that his team should have taken more of their opportunities and put the game beyond Bolton’s reach.
“It is a pity that we didn’t get the three points because the way we played deserved it, we created enough situations to score more goals.
“But football is like this, if you don’t kill the game and you give the chances to the opponent. We led 1-0 until minute 90; we’re disappointed because we felt the taste of the three points and two points ran away.
“All the players understood the game plan we created, and it’s just a case of putting the ball in the goal. We had 16 shots, 65% of ball possession and we must score more.
“This is football. The team that scores more wins, and we should have scored more. For the number of chances we created we should have scored more, but we didn’t.
“We were very near to winning here. We should have killed the game. With the situations that we created we should score more. If we score more, we don’t suffer like we are suffering now.
“We showed good things again, we played with enough quality, and we created enough situations to win this game. So we are disappointed with the result. But we are full of confidence in these players.
“In the moment we’re living, the game was very important. For one side we’re disappointed, but on the other side, the way that we’re playing and the confidence the players showed in our process gives us big hope for the future.
“It’s a tough track until the end of this big war. We have 17 more battles in front of us but we’re working very hard to be better and better. The point now is to keep the focus until the end of the game and score more goals.
“The idea is to keep working, now we recover and help the players to catch the confidence they have been showing in the way they’ve been training, and appear in the next home match full of confidence to give the three points to our fans.”
And the manager had a clear message of thanks to the 329 supporters who made the long journey to support Reading.
“I never feel tired of saying this about our fans – they are really amazing in the way that they support our team. They travel this distance, they will have been caught in snow during the trip, they show up in this cold weather. And they stay until the end to support our players.
“They really deserve the three points and to see their club in a position that they deserve. So hopefully against Aston Villa we will give a good answer.”