Another weekend, another defeat. Three home games, three losses. It has been a terrible start to the season. This week, Sheffield Wednesday were the visitors to the Madejski, and The Owls took the lead in the 12th minute through Adam Reach and doubled their lead 15 seconds after half time through Lucas Joao, with Liam Moore scoring a consolation goal. However, there was not enough fight to try and get another to get an important point.
Whether you are in the Clement in or Clement out camp, you have to appreciate his honesty after games. So here is what he said after this week’s defeat. He spoke to both the official club website and GetReading, saying:
“I’m very frustrated - we all are. Myself, the coaching staff, the players. Not only today, but at the start we’ve had in general in the league. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy with our choices and the situations we get into in going behind in games.”
Clement on the second half performance
“The second half is a classic example. We’ve just come out after half-time, where we’ve had an opportunity to collect some thoughts and get some tactical information into the players - and ten seconds from the kick-off, they’ve scored.
“It’s a nightmare start to the second half. There’s no excuse for it. The players have had 15 minutes rest and recover, some tactical points are put across, they’ve had a chance to get hydrated - the players need to be coming out much faster than that. And we keep shooting ourselves in the foot.
“We’re climbing a mountain again. We rallied a little bit - but it’s difficult when you go 2-0 down against a team who are putting in a real away-from-home performance. Men behind the ball, lots of delays on the restarts to take the rhythm out of the game... they got the win and we’re left very frustrated.”
Clement on what is going wrong
“I have to take responsibility. It’s normal the manager does that. I have control of a lot of situations - the way we train, prepare, tactics, the team, changes, what happens at half time, etc so I have to take a lot of responsibility.
“I have asked the players to do the same - be honest in the reflection of themselves. That’s a start. I always reflect honestly after games about the way the team does and I feed back to the team. That will continue.”
Clement on Sheffield Wednesday’s goals
“The first goal is not good - we should deal with it easily. The second goal is even worse, particularly coming off the back of a break.
“It was a long ball, knockdown and finish and then we had a mountain to climb against a team who did not have a great away record. They could smell the win and it was proper away performance.”
Clement on the chances of getting back into the game
“I thought we could get back into the game. I felt after Liam’s goal - it’s normal - you start doing things which are not right, it’s like panic mode - how can we get the ball into the box.
“With the changes I made - we had to play in a way to suit those who came on. We ended up being reckless and not playing to the strengths of the individual. We didn’t create anything really good - Liam Kelly’s chance we the best so it’s frustrating.”
Clement on having a big squad
“I need 15 or 16 players who can turn it on every week. I don’t want to be making lots of changes every week - that can cause confusion. I am very conscious about making sure that does not happen.
“But it’s down to the players to step up and produce really good performances daily in training to have a chance of playing.”
Clement on summer signings
“It’s not about the amount of players. We did business where we felt we needed it. It ended up being more of a challenge to move players on for various reasons.
“Every reason is different and specific. We’ve got this squad until January 1 and everyone needs to be fighting to play.”
Clement on changing our fortunes
“I am confident I can, I do not have any doubt in my abilities as a manager and as a coach. The dressing room is united. We are not fighting among ourselves. If you start doing that you have problems. We are all frustrated.
“I’m very frustrated for our fans - they have been very patient and shown a lot of support for the team. They haven’t turned on the players and see them trying.
“We make mistakes and go behind in games but at the same time it’s frustrating for them because they want to come and see their team have a go. They haven’t seen their team win that much and we’re also frustrated. It is demoralising when you’re putting so much effort in and not getting the results.
“Adversity can bring the worst out of people but can also bring the best. We’ll be sticking together and digging in.”
Clement on pressure from the board
“I don’t feel under pressure. If that was the case it’s out of my control. I train the players, tactics and must remain focused on that.”
Clement on the international break
“We’ve got to knuckle down, dig deep during this time. There have been a lot of losses for this club over the last season and we’ve got to find a way of shifting that balance from narrow defeats to even draws, and then narrow victories.
“It has not been a good start and we can only blame ourselves. We’ve got to be better, I’ve got to do a better job.
“And the players need to look at themselves and ask themselves if they are doing the best they can do every day in training, the way they are preparing themselves, taking on board the information.
“We’ve got some serious reflection, soul searching and get back on the training field. We’ve had six games, there are 40 to go. A massive amount of football to play. So we’ll have to train hard over the next two weeks.
“And we have to pull together and find solutions to the situation.”
Do you agree or disagree with Clement? Leave us a comment below.