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Clement: We’ve Got To Play Smarter

He accepts Sunderland draw was a 'fair result'.

Fulham v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Paul Clement is still unbeaten at home after the Royals picked up an important point against Sunderland in a 2-2 draw.

Liam Kelly converted a penalty to give us a 1-0 lead, before Sunderland came out and scored a cracker just after half time through Paddy McNair. Lee Cattermole gave the visitors the lead, but then Yann Kermorgant scored an all important equaliser to put us five points ahead of Barnsley who are in the final relegation spot.

Admittedly the performance wasn’t great, but the fans created a great atmosphere to push the players to get the equaliser.

Clement felt that it was a fair result, he told the official club website, “It was too open from a coaching point of view... our tactical discipline against Fulham was better than it was today even though we lost that game.

“When it’s like that, so end-to-end, anything can happen. You can win - and we had a massive two or three chances near the end - but equally you can end up losing a game like that because you’re so open and giving the opposition chances.

“Both teams went hammer and tong for it. We tried to win it, but it was important not to lose. And it could prove an important point.

“And on reflection, it’s probably a fair result, but we’re disappointed we didn’t take full advantage of those opportunities we had at the end.”

The players worked hard throughout the game, but with discipline problems towards the end of the season, Clement is keen to make sure that in the last three games, we can secure the points needed without silly mistakes being made, he continued, “The fact that the players showed the desire to get back into it and firstly equalise through Yann’s header and then create so many chances in the last five minutes of the game, that was good to see. They really pushed for the win.

“And there was some brilliant defending of the penalty area. But it wasn’t compact enough, not positionally disciplined enough... things we’ve got to get right in the last three games.

“We’ve got to play smarter. We’ve got to make sure we have more control in the last three games. Yes, we’re going to try and win the games, but in a sightly different way.

“We are as we were with Bolton drawing at Barnsley. The gap is still five points, but they have a game in hand. And we have to be prepared for this to go to the last game.”

Next up for the Royals is a trip to Hillsborough to face Sheffield Wednesday.