It has been a tough afternoon, but yet again, Reading’s mistakes led them to a difficult 3-1 defeat against Brentford. Mathias Jensen gave Brentford the lead just after 10 minutes, but Rafael could have done much better with the shot. Bryan Mbeumo scored a brace to take the Bee’s in 3-0 up at half time. An injury hit Reading came out much better in the second half and Sone Aluko scored a consolation.
Reading now sit eighth in the Championship, but are only out of the play-offs on goal difference. Veljko Paunovic again rued the mistakes that Reading made which ultimately led to our defeat. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live about the defeat.
Paunovic on the performance
“I think we had a horrendous first half against a very good team, who took full advantage of the confusion we had and the bad start we suffered. Our idea didn’t work in the first half and that’s on me. Our shape was a little bit twisted in the first half. And we were punished for the small mistakes we committed.
“And weren’t able to stop the bleeding until the second half. In the second half, we addressed things, we fixed it and it worked very well. The second half was a completely different story. We were playing good football, showed fantastic spirit, the application was great - for what it’s worth we won the second half. But we fell short with the result.
“It’s important when you go in at 3-0 down at half-time, that you don’t break down. And I think we at least showed that we could lift from our knees back to our feet again and we were capable of creating opportunities.
“If one of those opportunities we had at 3-1, still with a lot of time on the clock, had gone in - it would have been a very exciting finish. But we should have started the first half as we started the second. Huge credit to our guys for their reaction in the second half. But we have learned a lot from today.”
Paunovic on falling out the top six
“It’s not good for us to be attached to the standings. We have to look at our performances and look at our next opponent and how we can build form over the next stretch.
“That’s what we control. When we were first and seven points clear, I said don’t look at the table because this is a marathon and we know this goes in cycles. Now it’s the same, I’m going to encourage everyone to keep looking at themselves and our next opponent, and how we can prepare best for them.
“We believe every team we have played so far we could have beaten - and we could have been beaten which means there is a lot of equality between the sides. The margins and details play a big part so we have to them on our side to be successful again.”
Paunovic on the lack of subs
“If we needed, we would have done but I think how we played in the second half, everyone looked fresh. No one reported any issues at half time or fatigue, except Semedo and it was our call he needed to be subbed off because he looked tired.
“We needed to give an opportunity to a more attacking player like Aluko. He did well and not only scored the goal but also affected the game in a positive way.”
Paunovic on the impact of injuries
“It definitely affects us a lot, especially when the list is so long and some of the guys have a long time until they recover. That affects the resources, the options and it’s a fact. We’re not using it as an excuse but it’s a fact that we have to deal with.
“We were punished and it’s just not normal. Most of them were unavoidable. We will look at that and focus on recovering our guys. The nearest to come back is Swift and Joao is also on a good way to return, maybe for the Boxing Day game.”