“We have to move on quickly” were Paul Clement’s words after a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Aston Villa on Tuesday evening.
It was another poor performance, which was not helped by the fact that Dave Edwards was sent off after 30 minutes for two silly fouls. Although Clement’s 100% winning record has gone, he still has a 100% record of players getting sent off in games where he’s managed, he told the Official Club Website,
“It’s unusual. In my previous two clubs, I’ve never had a situation where I’ve been down to ten men and here I’ve had it in two consecutive games.
”But there were some good things defensively that went on in the first half – possibly we gave too much initiative to Aston Villa and they really got on the front foot and we had to defend our box a lot. But I still felt calm on the side as we were doing some good things.
“Even when we went to ten men, everyone stepped up and everyone was doing two or three jobs. We got to half-time at 0-0.
”In the first five or ten minutes after half-time, it’s really important to keep things nice and tight – so conceding the goal on 46 minutes was a big mental blow for the team. It was difficult to get back into it then.
”It was a difficult situation for us. We have to make sure that we don’t forget to attack. In the first half we did a lot of good things defensively, but we have to remember that we’re good players who can create opportunities and put the opposition under threat.
”It’s also very important that we move on very quickly.”
Next up for the Royals are Preston at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday which is another vital game, Clement added:
“The home games are massive. You have the advantage of your fans getting right behind you, and it’s familiar territory for the players. So we need to take advantage of that.
“The next game comes around very fast. It’s a winnable game for us.
“My confidence hasn’t been damaged, and I’ll make sure that transmits to the players. The players have got to focus on the right performance on Saturday now.
“I really hope that the fans turn up again in numbers and get behind the team, because they really helped in the last game against QPR. We’ll need that help again on Saturday.”
Now you’ve read this, check out Dave’s full match report: