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Reading FC Manager Praises Burnley Penalty Hero

Saving the spot-kick that was controversially earned, and taken, by Burnley's Andre Gray earned Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi the acclaim of Brian McDermott.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Another weekend at the Madejski Stadium and our second consecutive 0-0 draw, but this time against the in form Burnley.

In an afternoon full of controversy, it was a positive afternoon and a consecutive clean sheet. Even though we haven't scored, the positives are there for people to see defensively.

Brian McDermott was a reasonably happy man as he spoke to the official club website.

"It's another clean sheet against a team who will probably be playing in the Premier League next season."

"They've got a good chance - they know what they're doing, they turned us round early on and there's a certain formula you need to get out of this league and they might have it.

"They've got players who can score, they put five past MK Dons on the road, three past Brentford away - but I thought we might nick that game. To get a 0-0 here though, we'll take that today.

"When you're playing a top team like Burnley, it's got to be a point gained. The players showed real resilience, fighting for everything, going into every tackle - there were some great battles going on all over the pitch.

"No-one was giving an inch, it's a real tough Championship game. Once again our players stood up to them and it could have gone either way."

It was a game full of controversy and none more so than in the second half when Ali Al Habsi saved a penalty from Andre Gray after what seemed to be a harsh penalty. Before the penalty was taken, Hal Robson-Kanu appeared to scuff the penalty spot, but either way, Al-Habsi was the hero keeping us in the game.

"Ali said to me he didn't touch him (Gray), so we don't think it was a penalty. And the goalkeeper has had to make a fabulous save from penalty and there was a great reaction from the fans when he made it - and Ali's done really well for us again today, so I'm delighted for him."

"I'm proud of all our efforts today. We're inching towards where we want to get to, we showed the reliance I wanted to see, kept a clean sheet, and now we just need to add the goals to those clean sheets.

"You have to match teams, especially teams like Burnley. They are the top scorers in the Championships and we're just trying to build going forward. Now, we can look forward to a good week's training and then meeting West Brom in the FA Cup here."