Performances have improved over the past couple of weeks, so a trip to Bolton was very much a game we were looking forward to. But, in typical Reading fashion, we did not make it easy for ourselves. 2-0 down at half time was not what Royals fans were expecting!
Jaap Stam made four changes with Anssi Jaakkola coming into goal, with Tyler Blackett, Dave Edwards and Sone Aluko all started. Liam Moore scored in the 76th minute to make it an exciting finish before Leandro Bacuna converted a penalty to secure a point.
Even being 2-0 down, Jaap Stam was disappointed we didn’t take home all three points, he told the official club website:
"I'm disappointed that we didn't get three points. They got two balls on target and went 2-0 up, scoring two goals from two set pieces, their only efforts on goal in about 80 minutes - so we need to be better at defending set pieces.
"We knew they had that quality - you could see they were looking for free-kicks, looking to put balls into the box to score...and they succeeded twice.
"And suddenly you need to score two goals to get back into the game, and we created opportunities and should have scored in the first half - but didn't find the back of the net.
"We spoke about what we needed to do and we scored two goals in the second half. After that, you want the third one as well.
"But we needed to be a bit more patient when the adrenaline was running because if you rush things and you're losing the ball, sometimes the opposition can make the final stages difficult for you.”
Stam also had some positive words to say about Finnish ‘keeper Anssi Jaakkola, who made his very first league start for the club against Bolton.
"[Bolton] came out on the break a couple of times and Anssi was very important at the very end in making two crucial saves.
"You've seen him play in a couple of games in the cup and he's played a little bit in the under-23s, but it's difficult for a goalkeeper to get his minutes - and there is always that moment when he needs to step up and show himself.
"It's not easy for a goalkeeper to come straight in and do that, and he had very little to do for 80 or more minutes, but then he made two great saves at the end.
On the whole, Stam was bullish about the quality shown by the players to claim the comeback, but acknowledged the reasons why the team had to do that in the first place.
"From the first minute until the 80th minute, we controlled the game, tried to go forward and created opportunities to score.
"We've got the spirit in the team to come back and the belief in ourselves - you saw that tonight. And we know that if we keep calm and use our quality well we can come back in games like these. But of course we want to win games, so I'm a bit disappointed.
"We're happy that we came from 2-0 down to get a point from the game - we certainly deserved that. But we're also thinking about how we went 2-0 down from two balls into the box. If we can avoid that, we'd be taking three points home tonight.”
Next up for the Royals is Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday at the Madejski Stadium.