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Clarke: "Fulham Result Was Completely Out Of The Blue"

By now we've all had time to digest Saturday's capitulation at Craven Cottage but what did Reading boss Steve Clarke make of it?

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A surprising and frustrating afternoon at Craven Cottage yesterday afternoon saw a 4-2 defeat after the Royals were 2-0 up against Fulham.

Lucas Piazon and Orlando Sa put the Royals two ahead, but a breathless six minutes saw Fulham steal the points with a brilliant second half display.

Steve Clarke was disappointed with the result, he told the Official club website..

"At the moment it is still quite difficult to get my head around because for most of the game we were in control, but we had a crazy spell and Fulham scored three goals in five or six minutes.

"It turned the game on its head and we went from being a team that looked very assured and playing good attacking football, to suddenly looking very weak.

"It went from 2-1 to 2-2 and then to 3-2 very quickly, and it is uncharacteristic. It's not the way that you want your team to play; you want your team to respond better to adversity in the game and if that's something that we have to work on, then we start working on it immediately.

The Royals before the game had only conceded just eight goals in 12 Championship games, so it was an uncharacteristically poor performance, Clarke added:

"We pride ourselves on being solid at the back and that we haven't conceded many shots and haven't conceded many goals. Nobody that has watched Reading this season could have said they would see a game where we would concede four goals.

"I'll go away and do my work and assess how we are and how we played in the cold light of day, rather than now when it's a little bit emotional. I didn't trust myself to speak to the players after the game because I was so angry, so I want to go home and watch the game again.

"It was completely unexpected and out of the blue. But sometimes it is a little wake-up call and a reality check. I've said that we have come along way since the summer; we changed a lot in the club and we have been riding on the crest of a wave for a little bit. But this division is unforigiving and if you switch off for a moment, you can get punished.

"We have been punished today and we have to take stock, reassess and look to go forward again."

Next up, Reading face league leaders Brighton at the Madejski Stadium next Saturday.