The season is well and truly back with Derby Country the visitors to the Madejski Stadium on Friday night and, frustratingly, the visitors took home all three points. Despite an opening day defeat, there was so much promise and although we are not predicted to do much this season, I think pundits would have been pleasantly surprised by our performance.
We dominated throughout the game and made our breakthrough just after half-time through Jon Dadi Bodvarsson. Frank Lampard’s Derby then came back, first through Mason Mount after Vito Mannone let it slip through his hands, and then Tom Lawrence who scored in the 94th minute to grant Derby a first win of the season..
On the game
“After six weeks of preparation, you want to do well in the first game. So, the result is a blow – particularly conceding so late in the game. I thought we played really well, both defensively and offensively. On another day we could have come away with all the points.
“Based on chances that we created, it’s a game we could have won. We had a good amount of opportunities in the first half and a good performance, although didn’t get the lead that we really needed.
“Yet we came out strong again and scored a wonderful goal to put us in the lead. Lovely move across to the left, a super cross from Mo Barrow and a well-executed header from Bodvarsson.
“Derby went a bit more direct in the second half and spaces opened up. They went a little bit more direct, they looked to turn us a little bit more. But the first goal they scored was a soft one and Vito will know he’s got a do better with that one. But then he made that save at the end to balance it out you could say.
“A draw was probably the fair result. But that last effort from them was from freshness from the substitute and fatigue from us. When fatigue sets in you make mistakes and that one moment was the difference. But fair play to them. They pushed to the end. They got the positive result.
“There were lots of encouraging things – but in game one, we’ve had a lesson already. If you aren’t going to win or draw that game, certainly don’t lose it in that manner. You can’t lose that game, you just can’t. You do everything to make sure you do not lose that game. And that is a lesson we’ve learned on day one of the league.”
On the performance
“After a tough pre-season, the players have gone out there and in a majority of cases have done their jobs very well. We can’t all be doom and gloom. The shape of the team was good, we made it really difficult for them to get through us and create any decent chances at all in the first half.
“And we had some real good chances, just missing that final pass to create really good opportunities. But in the end, it was a fantastic ball in and a wonderful header by them – a great moment for Derby and their fans and Frank Lampard in his first game.”
On the fans
“It was a great game for the first one of the season. There were goals and a lot of effort given by both teams.
“There was a good atmosphere in the stadium and I think the Reading fans appreciated the work their players put in and they feel really disappointed we didn’t get a positive result.“
On transfer activity
“We are still in the market hopefully to do a couple of things before the end of the loan window. I would never make a judgement based on one game. We do our recruitment based on the intelligence we have.“
On Liam Moore:
“No news since Wednesday, nothing has changed. The window shuts on Thursday so everyone is going to know on that if he’s with us or if he’s moved elsewhere but I don’t know.“
“We have to move on. This is the way it goes – there are lessons to be learned and we’ll aim to put in another good performance next week.
“We’re professionals – we’ll go about our business and prepare well for the next game against Nottingham Forest. And then after that we have a midweek game back here against Birmingham City… we’ll do our best in every game we play.”
On Darren Bent
Clement wasn’t holding any punches on Saturday morning after a Sun Journalist, Jordan Davies, tweeted about some remarks that ex-Derby man Darren Bent made after the game.