After a disastrous 2018, all Reading fans were looking forward to what is hopefully going to be a very successful 2019, but those feelings were soon taken away after an appalling 4-1 defeat at the hands of Swansea City.
The Royals were 3-0 down at half time, and didn’t start the second half any better after conceding a penalty which took the Swans 4-0 up. The one big positive from the game was that Callum Harriott made his return after two years out, and he scored a consolation goal.
Gomes on the performance
“Today, we gave a late Christmas gift to Swansea for the first 45 minutes. And we are not here to give anything to anyone. The way that we started – showing no energy, no strength, scared – playing like that we cannot win. They get into our box on four occasions and scored three goals... we rolled the red carpet out for them.
”Swansea played very well and we knew the way that they can play, but they didn’t play in such a way to be 3-0 ahead at half-time - the truth is that they were winning 3-0 because we gave them the space and the goals.
“We were without energy and too relaxed. We have no time for these kinds of behavioural mistakes.”
Gomes on the players
“I am very disappointed because we started with the same players which played the previous match, where they had done fantastic things. Today they started like they were scared to play in front of our fans. The players must understand that the supporters are here to help them.
”I felt a different tension in our players – there is no reason for that. They did very well in the previous match and they should do the same thing today.”
Gomes on the supporters
“Our supporters give the normal kind of pressure which all fans should give, because they want the same thing as us – they want to win and they are here to enjoy watching their team playing.
“So we definitely need to improve the relation between my team and the supporters and it has to start from within the squad. The problem is not with the supporters – it is with my players. The fans just come here to enjoy and see their team play and win.
“They had a heavy weight on their shoulders, feeling the pressure of playing at home. But I told them that the fans are here to help you - it is not a war, it is football and you must play football and show what you can do.
”What I can promise is that this will not happen again. We cannot show this attitude. It was unacceptable. Football is our life and we must give everything, all our energy.
”So we have to think about what we must change inside us. We have to completely change the way we start games - be much stronger, play with energy and give our maximum from the first whistle to the last. Today my players didn’t and I am very angry at them.”
Gomes on our league position
“In the situation that we are in, near the bottom of the table, we cannot give away 45 minutes of football. I need to change something and I will do that this week. I will talk with the players and put them on the path that they need. We start working on that today – there will be no day off.
”Now the players have shown me all the faces they have. They cannot hide anything more from me. I am here to help them to be stronger. And we must be stronger. So now we work hard to achieve the targets we need to meet.
”It will be a tough mission, but we will get there.”
Gomes on Harriott’s return
“It was very good for him and for the team. All the players that came off the bench gave good things.
“Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Danny Loader and Callum gave good things so we are happy with their performance.”
Gomes on the January transfer window
“We are working on it with the board of directors. It’s normal that a club in the position that we are now that we think about improving the squad, but the number of players that we have in our squad is definitely very, very high.
“We must reduce the number of players and after try to bring some more players that will help us be stronger.”
Gomes on Liam Moore’s return
“He is better (after injury) but the defenders did well in the previous match.
“We didn’t concede any goals (against QPR) so I think that before the game I didn’t find any reason to change the defenders, they played very well. That’s the reason I kept the same 11. But now we will see.”
Gomes on facing Manchester United at the weekend
“This is a different game. We cannot compare both teams. It’s a cup game, everything can happen.
“It’s a game that they must enjoy, get rid of all the pressure because it is a game we cannot say we are under pressure that we must win this game. They must enjoy it, get rid of the pressure they are feeling and in the meantime we must prepare the next Championship match.”