After the international break, it was important to put the Charlton Athletic game behind us and pick up some points at Middlesbrough. Like always, we had lots of chances, but couldn’t put them away, which in the end cost us. Middlesbrough scored in the second half to take all three points and leave us in 17th.
The Royals are yet to show the great form that they were in a couple of weeks ago after the Cardiff game, but we are making chances and just need to capitalise. The performances are there. Jose Gomes after the game defended his team selection, but was frustrated with his side’s performance. He spoke to the official club website and Get Reading after the game.
Gomes on the game
“Even if we had drawn this game, I wouldn’t have felt happy with just one point after the way that we played. The football that we showed today, the number of goal-scoring situations that we created, being defensively very strong and not conceding clear situations.
“So I wouldn’t have felt happy with even just one point. We are frustrated at the way we lost these three points. But this is football. In the moments when you create chances, you must be clinical. You must kill the game and turn this football into goals. We didn’t do that. This is football.”
Gomes on the players’ spirit
“We must keep for the future the fantastic spirit and the way that my players fought today. In the future, I am sure that it will be very difficult to beat us. We were brave defensively, and offensively we created enough incidents to win this game.”
Gomes on team selection
“Pele was on the bench too because he played some games. He only arrived on Thursday. Puscas played two games.”
“Nobody – not the players, fans, directors – nobody wants more than me to win the games. I work daily with these players, I know how they are and I know what is best for the team.
“If we started the game again, I would repeat exactly the same line-up. They showed me today that they could win the game. They didn’t, but this is football. After the game happens, it is very easy to talk. In my opinion we created enough situations to win this game.”
Gomes on leaving Joao and Puscas on the bench
“They both started the last game and I didn’t like what they did and the way they played. We have six strikers and it’s my obligation to demand from them what they have inside them and what they give to the team.
“They know that so I used the players and in my opinion I used the players that could win the game. They didn’t score but they created enough chances - even before the changes - to win the game.”
Gomes on the referee’s performance
“I don’t talk about the referee, but I will talk about one situation in the first half - the elbow to Meite. Only one person can protect the players and the players are at the centre of football.
“If you don’t protect the players then you’re not protecting football. Only the referee can do it. The player had only one intention - to make an aggression to Yakou so it should be a red card, no doubt about it. And the game could have been completely different.
“But this is not an excuse - the way I saw the game was clear: we created enough chances to win the game so we need to be better in this area in the future. I cannot say anything about the way my players fought. There were two balls into our box but they didn’t create any clear chances.”
Gomes on time wasting
“We had a meeting with the referee committee about the way they have changed some small things this season - and one of them is when a player is going off, he should leave the field from the nearest line.
“The player should have just taken 10 steps on the other side and gone out but the referee let him cross the field and that used up time. The referees talked with us about this so they should follow what they say.”
Gomes on players keeping their focus
“My team stayed focused. You can’t say anything about the players. They kept the focus on the game.”
Gomes on taking off McIntyre and Rinomhota for Joao and Puscas
“They did very well. We still created even more chances. We changed formation using Puscas as a number ten and giving the mission to Swift and Ejaria down the middle. They had a good dynamic and we should have scored. At the moment you must be clinical and when you’re not this can happen.”
Gomes on Mendonca’s yellow card
“It shouldn’t happen. I don’t know what they write in the report (the referees) but it would be interesting to read why he gave him a yellow card. I also got a yellow card and all I said is that they should follow the rules they mentioned before the game (the sub going out at the nearest line). This is passion and emotion - we’re not in a church. It’s part of the game.”
Gomes on losing discipline off the field
“But my players were disciplined - they kept focus on the game. You can only talk about the yellow card to Mendonca.”
Gomes on our fourth defeat in seven games
“When we’re not creating chances and not seeing quality in our game then we must be concerned about it. But if you seem them creating chances, defensively we were strong again, and it was a free-kick for the goal. Of course nobody is happy to lose but my players did very well.
“They fought, created chances and in each part of the game they did well. So why should we talk about it? We have 39 more games and I’m completely sure that playing like we did today and with this spirit it will be very, very difficult to beat us again.”