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💬 "As a competitor, I'm not content with a draw. But as a manager, I see this as an important point and a step forward"

Royals boss reflects on a hard-earned point at Millwall...

25 November 2020

"Are you happy with a point?" came the question at the start of the Royals manager's post-match press conference. "Absolutely not." came the response.

"From the perspective of the competitor...I'm not happy with a point. But from the perspective of a manager who has to see the long-term picture, I think it was an important and positive point.

"It takes us away from that enchanted number of 22. It's been too long since our last win. And it's been terrible. I have felt terrible. An although this is not a win, it's important that we have moved from that 22 point spot where we were stuck.

"And we have learned our lessons from the past. When we were in a similar situation, in the game against Coventry, we equalised and then lost the match.

"We are a team who don't have many ties because we always emphasise, go for the win, go for the win. And at Coventry, we looked to quickly for the win, conceded goals and lost the game.

"But there was a break in the second half were we said 'Coventry isn't happening again'. It's 1-1, we can only win the game from here. And we worked hard to the very end and earned a point which can serve as a catalyst for the future."

The game could have gone either way in the second half, but the last chance fell to our sharpest shooter when Lucas Joao shot inches wide with the very last kick of the match.

"We are still consolidating as a team as we get players back from injury. It's one thing getting the player back out there but then he still needs to recover his form and get back to his level of performance.

"We weren't that sharp in the first half, we were a bit flat. And then they scored a great free-kick - I think we inspire the opposition's shooters, they seem to score the best goals against us!

"But after their goal we had a good reaction and there was a very quick response.

"We were in their box a lot, pushing forward, we were pressing much higher - we got the goal and it forced them to change their game and start playing long balls to their big guys.

"I think we adapted well. It was close for both teams - we both had opportunities.

"But the last one was ours, so with that taste of disappointment we go away knowing today's point is something. And we are moving forward."

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