Our two wins in August feel like a long time ago now after an incredibly poor performance against promotion-chasing Fulham. John Swift getting sent off in the first half really didn’t help, but the Royals were 1-0 before he was given his marching orders.
It didn’t get much better with a poor defensive display meaning we went down 4-1, Yakou Meite scoring a great goal on the day that he signed a new four-year contract. Here is what Jose Gomes had to say after the game - he spoke to GetReading.
Gomes on the result
“We faced a very strong team with Premier League players so we knew how difficult it would be to play against them. We prepared very well and could have scored early on because we had a good chance to score. But we conceded after one mistake and with one player less the problem was even bigger because they can hold the ball very well.
“Even with 11 it’s difficult to stop them but with 10 it was too. In the first half we should have been more aggressive in the way we pressed the opponent with the ball and I didn’t like that.
“But in the second half everything was different - my players showed very good character and spirit. They scored again in the second half after a mistake and with the way my players played in the second half I feel my players didn’t deserve to concede a goal.
“I said to the players at the end of the game - at the difficult moments we see who is who - the courage and spirit we showed in the second half is something really positive. Even in the bad moments like today, we must see what positives we can take because with this togetherness in the future we can achieve the victories we need.”
Gomes on the post-match team talk on the field
“With all the emotions, everybody was unhappy. In that moment it’s important to block the damage one mistake can do on the emotional side. The idea was to catch the positive things and tell them exactly what I was feeling in that moment.”
Gomes on Swift’s red card
“Swift is one of the best players in the Championship. He’s not an aggressive player. In both situations he tried to play the ball. The first yellow was near the bench and looked more serious than it really was. The second he slipped - before the game it rained a lot so the pitch as full of water - he slipped and then he touched the player.
“I’m not saying it was a referee’s mistake - I don’t think he should have got the first card but it’s not fair for the player which Swift is. He really respects the opponent and likes to play good football.”
Gomes on our poor home form
“I’m concerned about the points we should have and don’t have. If we don’t win at home it’s not a good feeling because the club and the fans deserve to see their team winning. This kind of situation with bad results happens to all the teams. Hopefully this moment has already happened for us.
“All the teams will have bad moments - we have to catch the positive things and go for the next game with this spirit.”
Gomes on Swift’s dismissal affecting the end result
“It did affect the result. Fulham play really good football but they don’t like to run to recover the ball. Without Swift we lost an important element on the pitch to control the ball because of the combinations he can do with Ejaria.
“The relation they have on the pitch is really strong and without Swift we lost this possibility.”
Gomes on poor first goal
“There were four players involved who made mistakes - this can happen in football but we reduced our chances of getting a result by losing Swift.”
Gomes on feeling under pressure
“Managers are always under pressure. We must learn and face this with the positive things we have. I’m not concerned about my position. I really believe in the way I work and believe in the honest way I pass my message onto the players.
“The togetherness we have at this club is really amazing - I’m concerned about the points we didn’t get and I am completely sure the players will give the proper answer to get the points we need.
“When the team is not strong you cannot see the spirit like they showed in the second half. It’s really hard to run and recover balls like we did, and recover and press with one player less against such a high quality team like Fulham.”