With all of the madness and excitement that we’ve had as Reading fans this week, there was still a very important match to prepare for against Sheffield United. On reflection, was Paul Clement leaving a wise decision just 48 hours before a huge game, where we could have built on last week’s point?
That aside, even though Clement would speak very honestly, the writing was on the wall and, as we approach another new era at Reading Football Club, it is important to find the right person for the job to get us out of this absolute mess we find ourselves in.
Whoever that might be probably had his head in his hands after a poor second half performance against Sheffield United. Our first half display was promising, but we never got going in the second half and suffered a 2-0 defeat.
Marshall on the game
“We want to get points on the board. That’s the point of the game – we want to produce results and winning teams. That hasn’t happened tonight. I think we struggled with the change in their shape in the second half, and didn’t move the ball around the pitch as well as we had done earlier in the game.
”There were a couple of moments where they released their wing-backs at us and pinned us in, and the pressure told in the last ten minutes. And it was disappointing to concede so late in the game.
“So now we’ll gather our thoughts, rest up for a couple of days and get back to it. I’m looking forward to getting some work done.”
Marshall on the team selection
“I discussed the team with the coaching staff and we came up with a gameplan to hurt United. There were signs that could work. Maybe with a bit of luck early doors we could have pushed on from that.”
Marshall on the lack of chances
“There were opportunities to pass and play and link up so we would have definitely liked to have worked their goalkeeper a lot more. There were chances we didn’t capitalise on.”
Marshall on the challenge ahead
“I’m looking around the dressing room and into players’ eyes and I’m seeing a group that wants to pull together. It’s a sore one at the moment but I’m excited at what can lie ahead.
”You can’t hide in the corner – you have to stand up and be counted. That’s what I’m trying to do right now and I’m sure others want to do that as well. It’s not an easy time for the team at the moment, but there is only one way to meet these challenges and that’s head on.
”The players are all professional guys. They’ll be hurting tonight because no-one likes to lose late on in a game. But we’ll gather our thoughts over the next couple of days and look to get some work done.”
Marshall on the search for a new manager
“I am planning for training next week. I’m sure there will be a lot of interested people. It’s a great club and a great situation in terms of good playing staff.”
Marshall on whether the job interests him
“I’ve been asked to step up so I will give it my full effort. I’ll do everything to help the lads to perform. We’ll stick together and do what’s needed. I’ve really enjoyed working with the U23s, we’ve got some good players coming through which is really encouraging. There’s a good future there.
“Andy and Danny have come in and done well. They want to come into a winning team and they are finding the sharp end now. That’s the final bit of learning for them.
“We’re here to support them all the way through. Not many things prepare you for being a first team manager. I’ve had a good stint in football and I try and make the most of every situation.
“The situation now is a challenging one but I’m well up for the fight. It was quite pleasing to look around the dressing room and one or two guys are ready to grit their teeth I think.”
Marshall with the latest injury news
“Bodvarsson is making progress but we have to be careful with him. Meite has been nursed through the past few weeks so he’s not at 100%.
“It’s a case of taking a bit of pain with him and let him recover to make sure he’s right and can play as much as possible throughout the season. It was touch and go for him this weekend so we’ll see how he is. He’s an honest guy and he wants to be involved but sometimes we have to hold him back.”
Marshall on backroom uncertainty having an affect on the players
“It’s not an easy period but they are professional guys - we all are. It’s not easy for all of us. But there’s only one way to meet that and that’s head on and try and get things right. I don’t think it will be too much of a challenge because we’ve got some good players.”