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Clarke Laments 'Jekyll and Hyde' Reading FC Performance

After a 3-2 defeat at The Valley, Reading boss Steve Clarke lamented his side's second-half performance as the Royals slip to 19th in the league. Sophie brings us the full comments.

Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Back to the league and back to reality with a bang. It was a very disappointing result away at Charlton, especially having been 1-0 up at half time. Needless to say, we had a very unhappy manager.

The second half saw us concede three goals, Steve Clarke told the official website:

"The second half performance was not good enough, so it's a disappointing day."

"First half we were really good, we looked like a good team but the difference in the two halves is incredible, and probably symptomatic of two things: the way the season has gone, and the way we reacted to adversity in the game. It's not hard to see why we are where we are in the league.

"Second half we allowed them back in and made some slack passes, which is a feature of this team and we have to eliminate it if we want to get better.

We all know the last couple of years have been marked with inconsistency and that is something that must change, with Clarke also commenting on the penalty to get Charlton back into the game.

"It's like everything from this season, to work out why you can do so well in the first half, control a game and then in the second half have no reaction to a moment of adversity. It was a soft penalty, looks like a push on Michael Hector. But there was no reaction.

"Players probably felt aggrieved by the decision but you have to do better than that, have leaders on the pitch who know you can lose goals to bad decisions, react and stay in the game.

"I can't work out the difference between the two teams (first half and second half), it's Jekyll and Hyde. It's frustrating, the quicker we are secure in the table and the seasons over, then we can start again.

Now, it is more important to forget about our trip to Wembley in April and focus in the meantime to consolidate our place in the Championship for next season. We are nine points ahead of 22nd place Wigan.

"I don't think we're safe. When you watch the team capitulate like that, we had 15 minutes when we lost control of the game completely, you can't think you're safe. We need the point required. The league table says a lot about the team, the squad.

Danny Williams was sent off and Nathaniel Chalobah was injured, this could be a way in for Jem Karacan to come back into the team. Clarke did comment on Williams' sending off:

"Then Williams is sent off, I don't know what for, but that's the standard of refereeing in this division. First yellow was soft, he won the ball. The sooner we get professional refs in the Championship the better."

There is now a two week break for the players with the international break, a much needed rest for the squad. Clarke finished by adding:

"There's players away, a few injured. The first week will be about refreshing everybody. They'll have a few days off, they don't deserve it after today but they deserve it for the weeks of back-to-back games.

"We have a lot of games in April, we need to be fresh mentally and physically for the challenge."