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💬 "We lost the match, but we won a lot of positives"

Royals boss' reflections on a cup exit at the hands of Luton Town this evening...

15 September 2020

A cup run is over but the Royals boss was focusing on the positives he and his team are taking from a tie that saw us give minutes to nine Academy graduates and still take a much more experienced Luton eleven close.

"We lost the match but we won a lot of positives that we can take into the future," Pauno began.

"We always go out to win. And we were close. We weren't intimidated by our opponent at any moment. 

"But nobody likes to lose. This is football and we also have to learn from our defeats."

The Royals boss made eleven changes and used this fixture as a prime opportunity to take a look at a number of players on the fringes of the first eleven and some young talent coming through the ranks.

"There were a lot of positives as I say. This was my first opportunity to see Tom Holmes starting, first chance to see Tom McIntyre play - and it was important for me to form my opinions. 

"And of course we got to see Dejan Tetek, Nelson Abbey towards the end, Tennai Watson, Ethan Bristow was fantastic - great, great credit to our Academy coaches and management because we have a lot of potential in our youth.

"I want everyone to be connnected and engaged and I want everyone to show that they are ready for the opportunity. 

"And I'm proud of the effort, proud of the players who played out on the field, they played until the end, defended the crest - everything we want in our identity going forward.

"But I did expect more from our attacking performance - from everyone. We all defend and we all attack. And as a group, we didn't consistently bring the  ball in the final third and finish our actions. 

"Nor did we get into enough one-on-one situations, nor did we get enough shots or crosses away, nor was there enough movement into the box...we lacked all of that.

"We had initiative, we had control in the second half - in the second half it was almost absolute. 

"But we have to score goals. We have to have numbers in the box, we have to cover the finishing points. Today we just missed this part."

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