Sunday, 16 May 2021

Reading boss says defeat was undeserved

READING manager Veljko Paunovic says his side did not deserve to lose against promotion chasing Watford on Friday last week.

Two goals from Ismaila Sarr saw the second-placed Hornets take another step towards promotion back to the Premier League.

The Senegalese gave the hosts the lead with a curled effort and just under two minutes later made it 2-0 with a fiercely struck shot that gave Royals goalkeeper Rafael Cabral no chance.

The result seemed harsh on the visitors who dominated the game for large periods but could not find the net.

George Puscas should have pulled a goal back but hit the post from close range with the goal open and Yakou Meite sliced an effort into the side-netting before half-time.

In the second half, Reading failed to really test the Watford defence and could struggle to hold on to the final play-off place.

Paunovic was disappointed that the outcome didn’t reflect the performance from his team.

“The tough part of the game is the result,” he said. “We were a fantastic team, fantastic competitor, played great football against one of the best teams in the league. But, unfortunately, the outcome is not what we wanted.

“I can’t say that we didn’t start the game well. I would just give credit to Sarr and his team for their start and two astonishing goals - although perhaps we could have done better with the second one. But you have to applaud those finishes.

“Other than that, our team controlled the game and created opportunities. Execution is very important though, but today it wasn’t there. And not converting our chances hurt us tonight. We were waiting, playing, running, creating chances and putting in a lot of effort out there and we had a lot of the possession.

“We were chasing that goal which would have given us that boost of confidence and our physical output we had was exceptional — we kept chasing and chasing that goal that would have given us the momentum. But the goal didn’t come.

“Eventually that drained us. We rushed our final pass too often in the second half, although we still kept getting into our opponents box and we looked to play and to fight until the very end. But in the end we ran out of power.”

Reading host Cardiff City, who sit in eighth spot in the Championship, at the Madejski Stadium tonight (Friday), kick-off is at 6pm.

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