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Steve Clarke On Birmingham Defeat: "It's A Disappointing Result"

Find out what Reading FC manager Steve Clarke had to say on the Royals opening day trip to St Andrew's.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

It was a disappointing start to the 2015/16 season with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Birmingham City, especially after such a dominant display.

We hit the woodwork three times, missed a penalty and had a goal that appeared to cross the line that was not given, it was a tough day. Manager Steve Clarke was understandably frustrated with the result. He told the official club website, "It’s a disappointing result.

"They got a fortunate first goal with a deflected free-kick – I'll need to have a little look at the organisation of the defenders and the wall, because I was a little unsure how it got through the wall and in.

"That was a big break for them, because until then they hadn’t been in the game at all – we had bossed the game from the start.

"From there we lost control in the last five minutes of the first half. We lost a little bit of discipline and a little bit of shape, and we started the second half in the same frame of mind – almost as if we were disappointed to be 1-0 down after such a good performance. This can't be – we have to be stronger mentally.

"But the players gave everything. If you take that ten-minute spell out of the game, it’s almost total domination. I think it must have been something in the region of 20 shots and close to half of them on target."

Debutant Orlando Sa missed a penalty in the last moments to gain a point, and Clarke feels that we were punished, he added: "We had a big chance with the penalty to rescue a point and it would have been more than deserved. It was a day when we were punished very harshly for the few mistakes we made in the game."

Overall, even though it was a harsh defeat, Clarke could see some positives from the game, "When I go away and reflect on it, there were a lot of pleasing things. There were a lot of away games in the second half of the season and I don’t recall any where we had 20 shots on goal."