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Paul Clement Praises Reading’s Courage And Personality After Leeds United Defeat

The manager reacts to the 1-0 loss at high-flyers Leeds.

Aston Villa v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The Royals will feel incredibly unlucky after a good performance at Leeds United ended in a narrow 1-0 defeat. Reading definitely deserved to leave with a point after Leeds took the lead early in the second half, and we had our chance to pick up an important point right at the death when Josh Sims was fouled in the penalty area. Marc McNulty stepped up but his effort was saved by Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Paul Clement was pleased with his team’s performance and energy, and spoke to both the official club website and Football.London.

Clement on the performance

”I’m pleased with everything apart from the result. I’m absolutely proud of the players tonight - they did everything that I asked in terms of putting in a performance against one of the best teams in the division in front of nearly 30,000 fans.

”We played with courage and personality in a stadium that is very passionate. We played some good football, we defended, we ran hard. We did everything but score the goal that we needed. We had opportunities...and not just the penalty at the end.

”So I’m proud of the way that the players approached the game, and the disappointment is that we didn’t at least come away with a point. I think we deserved more. Anyone watching that game today not knowing which team was where in the league wouldn’t have been able to tell who was second and who was near the bottom end of the table.

”The players were dead on their feet at the end – both sets of players. They gave absolutely everything. And I saw Leeds, a team that are now second in the Championship, hanging on at the end against us. We were the team advancing forwards and creating chances.

”So it’s a strange feeling. Because as a professional, you want to win games and points. But that might be one of the best games we’ve played this season.”

Clement on Marc McNulty’s penalty

”It was a good save – and that can happen at any moment in the game when you get a penalty. It’s just at that moment it’s a real sickener! But Marc stood up and took responsibility in a real high-pressure moment. On another day that will go in.

“Our number one penalty taker was going to be Liam Kelly but he was off the pitch. Number two was Swift, he was off the pitch. So at that moment, the players have got to sort it out amongst themselves.

“And fair play to Marc, he stood up and had the courage to take it. He went straight for the ball. And the keeper made a good save. The keeper dives the other way, we have a point. But he didn’t. It happens.”

Clement on Danny Loader’s first start

“He has been really good. He is strong physically, tactically he is bright. He got tired at the end but there was a lot of adrenaline and emotion in the game.

“He got through 90 minutes playing in an iconic stadium playing against a good side so it’s a brilliant experience for him and great for our academy.

“Loader, Kelly and Rinomhota all in the team and I was pleased with all of them. I was proud of all the players for the effort they put in.”

Is Paul Clement’s post-match assessment right? Tell us in the comments below or on social media.