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Steve Clarke On Brighton Fightback

Reading bounced back from last week's 4-2 defeat at Craven Cottage by picking up a hard-earned point against the league leaders. Here are Steve Clarke's thoughts on an encouraging result at the Madejski.

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A spirited fight back saw the Royals earn a good point after going 1-0 down to league leaders Brighton & Hove Albion at the Madejski Stadium. Jamie Murphy put the visitors in front early in the second half, but Matej Vydra slotted in the equaliser in a positive comeback.

Steve Clarke was pleased with the response: he told the official club website, "We spoke before and at half-time about the importance of the first goal. So having been a goal behind to a good Brighton team that are top of the league for a reason - they're very strong defensively - we did well to get back in and make it 1-1.

"We started a little bit slowly, which might have been a bit of a hangover from last week, but once we got to grips with the game I thought we more or less bossed the first half without creating anything that was really clear-cut. There were a lot of free-kicks around the edge of the box that on another day we could have been done better with.

"In the second half they got the goal, then sat in and tried to defend their lead. But I thought our response was good because we kept pushing and chasing and looking for ways to open them up. Eventually we got the goal we deserved."

Clarke praised goalscorer Vydra after he scored his first goal for the club after a frustrating time with injury. He pounced quickest after Brighton goalkeeper David Stockdale was unable to hold on to Nick Blackman's strike.

Clarke added: "It's been a little bit difficult for Matej because he came in and picked up a nasty injury. He has worked ever so hard to get over that, and he's now finding his way back into the team and fine out about his teammates.

"He does a great job for the team wherever we ask him to play. And it was great reaction to the goalkeeper not holding onto the shot - Matej was there first and did what we know he can do, and what he will do in the future."