Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Royals boss unhappy with away draw

YAKOU Meite earned a late point for Reading on his return from injury at Nottingham Forest last Saturday – but Royals boss Veljko Paunovic was not pleased.

The visitors, who were hoping to strengthen their position in the play-offs of the Championship, had trailed since the 49th minute after defender Tom Holmes put a low cross into his own net with striker Glenn Murray pressuring behind him.

Reading came into the match on the back of three straight wins, but had failed to properly test Brice Samba in the Forest goal after falling behind.

Meite, who had been absent for eight matches with a thigh injury, came off the bench on the hour and managed to force an equaliser with nine minutes remaining. His left-footed strike from the edge of the box was hit close to Samba, but the ball had enough pace on it to find a way through his defences.

After the match, Paunovic said: “We could have won the game. The equaliser came very late. We spent so much energy trying to get the equaliser. But even after that, we had pressure. But we were not clinical and that was the key.

"I am happy with the attitude, with our identity and character. But I am not happy with the draw. I cannot help it, but it feels as though we lost the game."

A point was enough to preserve their position in fifth ahead of their match with relegation-threatened Birmingham City at the Madejski Stadium on Wednesday. After that, they host Queens Park Rangers on Saturday at 3pm.

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