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Sheffield United Fans Verdict: Royals Valiant In Defeat

How the fans reacted to some of the key talking points to come from Reading’s fifth-round exit at the hands of the Blades.

Mark Bowen stated after the Wigan Athletic game last Wednesday that one small saving grace was the fact that when his team have performed poorly in the past, they have always gone on to rectify that in the games after. Tuesday night was another night which helped the process of putting that Wigan game in the club’s distant memory.

We were brilliant against Sheffield United - our defensive discipline was fantastic, we constantly looked a threat going forward on the break and at times we really took the game to them which is a huge credit to both the players and the manager.

Ultimately, though, we did lose the game and that does hurt considering how well we played and how organised we were for 120 minutes. But if you fall asleep for even a second against teams as good as Sheffield United, you will get punished, and we did.

However, there was plenty for the Loyal Royals to be happy about and I’m sure they travelled home on Tuesday night with a lot of optimism and excitement for the next game. Here’s how they reacted to some of the key talking points to come from the game...

The atmosphere

The Mad Stad was absolutely bouncing on Tuesday night - and we haven't been able to say that very much in the last few years.

I haven’t been involved in scenes like the celebrations for George Puscas’ penalty in a very long time, either. Even opposition manager Chris Wilder went out of his way after the game to say how good us Reading fans were - now we just need to make that kind of noise on a consistent basis, and keep on getting behind the team.

Here’s what the fans had to say about the atmosphere on Twitter after the game...

The referee

Personally, I always refuse to place the blame on referee’s win, lose or draw because at the end of the day both teams have the same ref. However, a large section of the Reading fans were quick to let their feelings be known about Kevin Friend’s performance on social media after the game.

The ref, who we are used to seeing in the Premier League most of the time, did give the hosts a penalty towards the end of the second half - but other than that, the fans really didn't appreciate his performance.

It was summed up when he didn’t give what looked like a clear foul on Puscas seconds before Billy Sharp’s winner but what can you do? Here’s what the fans had to say...

Sense of pride

Let’s just be honest here, we were really good on Tuesday night. Yes, we lost, but the application, fight, determination and quality when in possession from the players could not be doubted one little bit.

John Swift and Michael Olise ran the show in midfield, Matt Miazga and Michael Morrison were gargantuan at the back and Puscas and Yakou Meite looked a threat all evening going forward. It was a very competitive performance against a team who are striving for Champions League football next season.

Bowen will be proud, the players should be proud and the fans are definitely proud of the performance the players put in...

Conclusion

To a man we were brilliant on Tuesday night - we just got punished twice by a very well organised team.

The tricky bit for Bowen now is to ensure the players show that same drive and motivation in our remaining league games now - which is a whole different kettle of fish compared to an FA Cup home tie against a Premier League club.

URZ