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💔 Swift | "A good performance, but gutting to concede late on"

Playmaker discusses narrow defeat against Premier League Blades

4 March 2020

John Swift says he hopes to see the Royals replicate the level of their performance in the Emirates FA Cup on Tuesday night in league action, after battling hard against Premier League Sheffield United at Madejski Stadium.


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The Royals fell behind within the first couple of minutes in RG2, with Ben Osborn's cross finding the head of David McGoldrick, whose clinical finish put the Blades in front on the night.

Rather than wilting, Reading fought for every challenge and managed to find their way back into the match, going level from the spot when George Pușcaș fired past Dean Henderson after Andy Rinomhota was fouled in the box.

The Fifth Round tie went the distance on the night, but Reading would not be able to take part in a penalty shootout as Billy Sharp's header at the far post eliminated the Royals from the FA Cup for another season.

"It was good, but we obviously kicked ourselves in the teeth a bit with the early goal," said the pragmatic Swift after the full-time whistle.

"But after that, we pulled ourselves together and put in a really good performance for us playing against a Premier League team with most of their players who play week in, week out in the league.

"It was a good performance from us but it was just a bit gutting that we conceded late on and we ended up losing the game.

"The early goal was a bit of a reality check - we were playing against a top team! We switched off once and they put in a great cross and a great header as well.


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"We had to really switch on after that - after we did, we settled down and started playing some good football. It was an obvious penalty for us and Pușcaș put it away really well. From there, we pushed on really well.

"We were a bit disappointed because we know we played really well. We definitely deserved to go to penalties at least to give ourselves a chance.

"But it is what it is. It was a good all-round performance, but we've got the league to take that into now.

"The atmosphere was really good. I was playing a bit deeper, there was a point in the game where he had just scored and you could really hear all our fans.

"It honestly does make a difference and push you on that little bit more. Then to get the round of applause coming off the pitch at the end too, losing the game and still having most of the fans there to show you support knowing you've worked hard and the team has put in a good performance. But we're disappointed and sorry that we couldn't get us across the line."

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