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💬 "We were patient, intelligent and we adjusted. And when it was tough, we didn't crumble"

Royals boss Veljko Paunovic reflects on another hard-fought victory over a well-organised hard-working Rotherham side...

24 October 2020

A first half of focus when Rotherham were very much on top, was followed by a second half that saw us run away comfortable winners - earning three more valuable points at home ahead of a challenging week on the road for the Royals.

"The result came from a good performance in the second half," Pauno said. "In the first half, our opponent did a very, very good job - they were very well prepared, very fresh and it was very hard to play against them.

"We couldn't get on the ball, we couldn't create opportunities, we couldn't play our game. Thankfully in the one opportunity we created, we were effective and scored.

"That helped the spirit and helped us adjust in the second half. And after half-time, it was a different story.

"We were more compact and they were surprised with our system in the second half.

"Our players are intelligent, capable of comprehending how the opponent is trying to play and how we can try to improve our game in response.

"I am appreciative for Ovie. He did his work in the first half when we were suffering, he played his part and he was patient for that moment.

"Do the teamwork and the talent will show. And he showed fantastic vision to make that inspirational pass into Meite for the first goal. And the second goal was superb - one of the best goals we've seen.

"Another fantastic performance from Rafael, the spartans we have in Morrison and Liam Moore at the back and another two spartans in front of them, Josh and Andy. Those guys get everyone out of their seats.

"And the talented full backs we have - Tomas tried to do what he does a couple of times in the first half and quickly learned today wasn't the day to play the football we want to see. So then you have to put your shield on, your helmet, your sword and keep pounding away.

"This was his first half of football at the club. He's 18 years old. And he played like he has been playing in the Championship for ten years.

"He worked out what was needed to succeed and importantly to not get hurt when he was on the end of a couple of big tackles. But we have a warriors spirit in our genes here and that was present throughout our whole team."

A battling display in the first half was replaced by an imposing second half display from the home side.

"We have to acknowledge that sometimes you cannot impose your game when your opponent is playing well," Veljko said.

"But we didn't crumble. We had to remain patient and focused and then we scored the goal and the game went our way.

"We saw consistency throughout the team in getting your own job done for the team. And waiting for the opportunity to come.

"We had to have a strong mentality and not get frustrated when our gameplan was not working. And we don't give up. All these things are super important.

"And when you finally earn your opportunity it gives you your advantage to score."

"We learned from the Wycombe game. This wasn’t new for us.

"I wasn’t happy in the first half, because it was hard for us. But I was sure after the Wycombe game that the team would know how to deal with the situation."

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