The final 20 minutes saw the Royals push hard for the one goal that would probably be the difference in a tight game at a wet and windy Bet365 Stadium this afternoon. But the winner never came.
"We always thought this was going to be a game of one goal. And who scores…wins," the Royals boss began his assessment of this afternoon's goalless draw.
"There is a little bit of frustration that we couldn't get that goal. But it wasn’t our best game today.
"That brought us opportunities from open play and from corners and set pieces.
"Unfortunately we didn’t get a win, but we kept another clean sheet, I don't think we suffered any more injuries so that is another positive.
"And the team did show spirit as always, good structure, but I think we needed to be better on the ball especially in the moments when the opposition's pressure ceased.
"We have to give credit to Stoke. They tried in the first half to look for a more direct approach, which we did a good job in preventing. Maybe we didn’t step up high enough on the field – but they are a good side so it was difficult.
"The fair result is the one we got. That is the bottom line. We could have benefitted more from the opportunities we created and from certain times when we rushed the final pass or got over-excited when were were in the final third.
"But that is normal. The team always gives its best. We move on and learn from this.
"We expected a hard game today, we prepared for that. From the beginning we said, stay defensively solid, keep a clean sheet, and build momentum throughout the game so we can create something that will get us the result.
"And the opportunities came. Late, but not too late. Unfortunately we couldn't take one of those opportunities."