Well, that’s frustrating isn’t it? Sunday was a huge chance go level on points with Swansea City and Watford in second place, but it was a chance that the Royals squandered mainly down to a missed penalty from star man Lucas Joao in the 83rd minute.
We can’t be too harsh on Joao considering just how good he’s been all season (and trust me he will continue to win us points in our push for the play-offs) but it’s clear for all to see that if Joao scores that penalty, we win the game.
On the whole though, the general consensus among the fans was that it was still both a good point and performance. Let’s be honest, in this crazy league you can never be too disappointed with a clean sheet and a point away from home, but this one still feels like a loss.
Generally, the players have been good at turning disappointments into positives, and I'm sure Joao will do just that. What’s done is done and we can’t undo it, and Joao will continue to be one of the best strikers in the league, no doubt about that.
Here’s how the fans reacted on Twitter after the game...
You'll all know that sometimes as fans you just have a feeling, and for some reason - don’t ask me why - but when Joao stepped up to take the penalty I just had a feeling that he’d miss. And he did.
I think it’s because how he had carried himself for most of the game, which was very negatively. He started getting very frustrated as soon as things started going against him - something Pauno alluded to after the game - and we haven’t been used to that from Joao this season.
He will learn from this and he will score a lot more goals for us too. But he can't let his frustrations get the better of him or else he'll continue to miss chances like the penalty. The fans certainly noticed Joao’s mood...
I said before he took it that he was gonna miss. Joao’s head is not right today. #Readingfc— Paul Smith (@Skeptichead) January 24, 2021
Wasn’t confident at all, Joao’s head has been down all half #readingfc— George (@GS_1871) January 24, 2021
Point away from home is never a bad thing. But we edged that. João looked frustrated, could tell that pen wasn't going in. #ReadingFC— Matheus (@MaffRoyal) January 24, 2021
Going by Joao body language all game knew he was going to miss that #readingfc— Dave Wilkinson (@daveyboii10) January 24, 2021
Had a terrible feeling about that with Joao, has been frustrated all day. Should have let Swift have it #readingfc— Frank Maguire (@fsmaguire) January 24, 2021
Lucas Joao is a genius man, missed that pen so that no clubs come sniffing in the next week. What a player #readingfc— Chris (@ChrissRFC) January 24, 2021
Impossible to get too annoyed at Lucas Joao, but I am so unsympathetic to missed penalties.— Greg Double (@Dubstep1988) January 24, 2021
Saved penalties are bad enough, but missed penalties? Nah. You’re a professional footballer. #readingfc
Joao 9/10 will put those pens away. after the way it went for him today swift should have taken the pen. He’s been class all season. Just hope he doesn’t get any hate. We wouldn’t be where we are without him. Hope he puts this one to bed ASAP and go again on Friday #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) January 24, 2021
Positives to take
As Pauno said after the game, it feels like a loss rather than a draw - but he'll also make sure the team look at the positives too, of which there were a few.
The only team that was ever going to score in that second half was us; the defence were superb again, and we managed to come away with another clean sheet and the unbeaten run continues. All it does is make Friday night the biggest game of the season.
McIntyre was a stand out again in my opinion as he continues to fill in for Liam Moore more than adequately and, as I said before, it’s hard to be too disappointed with a draw and a clean sheet away from home in the Championship.
The fans looked at the bright side on twitter after the game, albeit rather reluctantly...
On the positive side.— KnobedRFC (@MerryBerryBoy) January 24, 2021
Looking tasty defensively
Unbeaten run continues
A point away from a fairly competent side
Good performance, just with a sour ending#readingfc
I guess a point and a clean sheet away from home is not a bad thing #readingfc— Stevie p (@stevie_p1871) January 24, 2021
Biggest positive from today - being frustrated at a clean sheet & draw away at Preston is still leaps & bounds ahead of what we’ve been used to in recent years. People will say that’s small-minded but we’re still looking strong. Just makes Friday bigger now. #readingfc— Matt Williams (@mattwilliams100) January 24, 2021
Reflecting on the #readingfc game I’m ok with a draw. Definitely a missed opportunity especially with the penalty but Joao has built up more than enough good faith this season. Clean sheet, no more injuries and 4 points from last 2. All going ok ⚪️ ⚪️— Lee Richards (@Lee_Richards1) January 24, 2021
Frustrating performance from #readingfc today, the players lacked the desire to win.— Ryan | IS STAYING AT HOME (@Ryan311292) January 24, 2021
We can't afford to drop points against teams like Preston if we're going to be contenders for promotion.
On a positive note earning a point & clean sheet on the road is never a bad thing.
Before the game if you told me clean sheet and a point i would've been happy.— eDing (@e_ding10) January 24, 2021
I guess its a good sign oppositions teams are trying to hold out for draws against us...? #Readingfc
It's a game we should of nicked but also a case of we need to keeping battling away, take the point and clean sheet and move on. Tough run of games coming up now, disappointing today but we're still right in the mix #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) January 24, 2021
At least it’s a point and a clean sheet. Tough place to go, but we should have won that. Not just with the pen but multiple other chances.— Alex Stone (@alexgstone) January 24, 2021
Strange to have Olise on the bench and not use him #readingfc
Well that's two hours of my life I'm never getting back. On the plus side a clean sheet and the unbeaten run goes on. #Readingfc— Matt (@lines_aviation) January 24, 2021
What’s done is done, Joao can't go back in time and score the penalty. We just have to turn all our attentions to Friday night as Bournemouth come to the Mad Stad. Quite simply, it’s the biggest game of the season so far. Win it and the confidence comes back in the click of a finger.
We’re still in and amongst it and I have full faith that the players, particularly Joao, will bounce back with confidence.
Onwards and upwards.