We’ve been riding high, but three straight defeats have felt a little tough to take… the latest of which came in a tightly-contested game against Stoke City, where the 3-0 scoreline gives a far from fair reflection of how the game panned out.
Striker Sam Baldock, who came off the bench against the Potters, was far from downbeat after the defeat. Quite conversely, he feels that the Royals’ blistering beginning to the season as having earned the admiration of those who have faced us.
“It’s a tough one, especially on the back of the previous two as well,” Baldock reflected. “There wasn’t a lot in it – we started the game really well, and the first goal was going to be really important, and they took their chance.
“We have earned the respect of other teams, and you’ve got Stoke City coming here and changing their game-plan for us, trying to match us up and nullify our strengths… it’s a massive compliment to take and shows the great strides we’ve taken over the last few months and the position we’re in. So it’s definitely not doom and gloom.
“But being the Championship, it’s the fine margins. We had a couple of chances at 0-0, similar to the other night. And when they got their first one, they took it and it went in.
“To be a successful team, you’ve got to have many strings to your bow. We’re going to have to think of other ways to counteract other game-plans from other teams, because we have earned the respect of the opposition to come and adapt their game-plans against us.
“And credit to the sides who have done it because it has worked for them, and they got the opening goal. If we had got the opening goal, I’d like to think it would have been a different situation.”