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💬 "We have to acknowledge the defeat, feel the pain, absorb it and channel it positively"

Royals boss Veljko Paunovic reflected on defeat at home to Preston this evening and has his sights set on putting things right at home to Stoke City on Saturday...

4 November 2020

Preston took their opportunities and, tonight, we didn't. That led to our first home league defeat of the season this evening and the Royals boss was very keen to make sure the pain of defeat is channeled into a positive reaction when we host Stoke on Saturday.

"It was a tough defeat," he began. "In the first half it was a very even game, both teams pushing back and forth, creating situations in attack.

"They had a penalty kick which they didn't score with and we used that to spur us on - and we got a very good reaction from the players.

"We earned two 100% goalscoring opportunities which we didn't convert.

"When that happens, usually in football, you concede and they were clinical with their chances. If you don't execute your opportunities, it will go against you.

"After the first goal, we wanted to react immediately by putting more goals on the pitch. But we risked a bit too much at the back and they found a way to take advantage.

"We weren't at our best tonight. But this is a huge learning opportunity for us. They executed their chances and we didn't. That was the difference today.

"We know that we have a very important home game in just three days - we have to prepare for that and get ready.

"And we have to recover and restablish how solid we were at the back and how clinical we were in attack.

"This team is good enough to win, game in, game out. But we have to go back to the fundamentals.

"So we have to acknowledge tonight's defeat, absorb it and bounce back.

"We have to come back with personality, with pride, with the desire to prove ourselves and to prove that we are better than we were today."

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