Three games into the season, three defeats and two of those at the Madejski Stadium, it seems as though our poor form from last season has carried on into this season. Phil Parkinson’s Bolton Wanderers were the visitors to the Madejski and they took home all three points in a brilliant away performance to steal a 1-0 victory,
This is our worst start for 59 years and Paul Clement knows that the Royals need to improve, but he also has to change his ways too. He spoke to the Official Club Website and GetReading after the game, admitting that Reading “weren’t good enough”.
“For me, it’s impossible that you can lose that game. In fact, it’s impossible that you don’t win that game, based on territorial advantage, opportunities, the nature of the goal, our style versus their style. We have to win that game.
“I am very, very disappointed. I am disappointed with myself, my selection and the way I prepared the team.
“I’m disappointed with the players and their delivery of the tactical plan. We have to be better. It’s as simple as that.”
Clement on the performance
“After their goal, they had six across the back, four across midfield. We had to better. From our perspective, the goal is terrible. We can’t concede a goal of that nature.
“But at the same time, for all the opportunities that we had, we couldn't find a moment of quality that really tested the goalkeeper. The ball was going into the stand, being run out of play for throw-ins. Not enough. We have to do better.
“Three games have gone past. Performances have been okay in some of the games but today I didn’t like it. There was too much tippy-tappy football and we weren't effective. We have to get it right fast.”
Clement on turning results around
“The margins are small but I’m not going to say we were unlucky. We’re joint bottom of the table because we haven’t done enough over the three games.
“We have to turn it around quickly. The games come thick and fast and when you’re not picking up points other teams do that so we have to get a result quickly. I’ve got the players - they have to do better.”
Clement on the reasons we are struggling
“We got in behind Bolton in the first half but in the second half, when the quality really matters it had to be better.
You see it a lot - when a team has inherently lost a lot of games it’s almost like ‘here we go again’. We’re going to be behind, behind a lot and need to get back into games.
“We have to get through that. We need to be mentally though to deal with adversity. You have got to use adversity to make you stronger and better.
The games are ticking by and we’ve not done that. We should have done it after Derby. We couldn’t find the mentality and the technically quality to get back into it.”
Clement on changes for the Blackburn game
“I still have a lot of confidence in the players - they are trying hard but that’s not enough. They have to do more and so do I to help the players find solutions to some of the issues.”
Clement on injuries
“You never know what would have happened if Barrow or Aluko were in the team. Would it have suited Barrow with them sitting so deep? We needed real cleverness to break down the six-man backline.
“His injury is not serious and all being well he should be available very soon. Aluko will start training but I’m hoping he will be available midweek.”
Clement on not capitalising on Tuesday’s victory
“We knew we managed to kick start our season in the cup but we haven’t in the league and we’ve missed a massive opportunity to do so.
“We have two very tough away games but we’ll dust ourselves and go again, and we look to be a lot better.
“We have to be more efficient and effective. I don’t want us to be a tippy-sappy side - every time we get the ball we need to try and create a chance.”
Clement on the atmosphere
“It was down to the players - it was flat because of what the fans were watching. We moved the ball too slowly, we weren’t creative enough and didn’t get enough for fans to get out their seats.
“At the end you get the boos, that’s normal. I felt like booing myself - for what I saw and for me because it was really, really disappointing.”
Clement on feeling the pressure
“No, I put pressure on myself. I have to coach the team better. I will put the pressure on the players and make sure they do better.
“I don’t need anyone to tell me I have to do better. I know myself.”