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💬 "We missed that little spark in the final third"

Royals boss Mark Bowen pleased with a second successive clean sheet but admitted we missed that bit of quality in attack...

7 July 2020

A 5-0 win away from home was always going to difficult to follow and the Royals missed the quality they demonstrated in attack at Kenilworth Road but battled out a point in a goalless battle with Huddersfield Town this evening.

"We made three changes to the back four on Saturday and we have come away with another clean sheet this evening, so you'll take that away with you.

"And I thought Tom McIntyre was outstanding again tonight - he's keepign fit, growing into that role, and he's going to be a real one for the future.

"Any time you get a clean sheet, you have to praise the whole team - not just the back four. But I just felt we missed that little bit of spark in the final third.

"Sometimes our selection and our execution of the pass wasn't there or wasn't quite as good as it should have been, to deserve winning the game.

"I sensed there might be a bit of a lull after winning 5-0 at the weekend. And there was. It took us a little while to get going. 

"Then we created little spells of pressure throughout the game - but at the end of a good passage of play it would break down with a sloppy pass.

"Even in the last 10-15 minutes we got into positions to get a cross in and we hit the first man two or three times.

"We just lacked that bit of quality in the final third. Saturday we were excellent in the final third. That's why I keep talking about consistency in our game."

Another point on the board and with four games remaining, Bowen is keen to get some performances out of his players and results that can stand them in good stead going forward.

"The mental feeling going into the three or four week period before the next season starts is important," he continued.

"If you finish in the top half of the table, you think 'we're a decent enough side, there's something to build on'.

"You don't want to be going into that short off season period with it all flat having not picked up points and with question marks around us.

"If you win a few games and you've done well at the end of one season, you almost can't wait for the next season to start. That's what we are playing for."

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