The Royals suffered their third defeat in a row with a 2-0 defeat against Bournemouth at the Select Car Leasing Stadium. Goals from Dominic Solanke and Jamal Lowe sealed the points for the visitors extending their unbeaten run and lead at the top of the table. Reading now sit 16th.
Manager Veljko Paunovic cut a very frustrated figure after the game and said his side deserve more support. Here is what he had to say, he spoke to the official club website, Reading Chronicle and Berkshire Live.
Paunovic on the game
“It was a very good game. Very even. We built our momentum and created a couple of very good opportunities, but we didn’t score them. We looked good, in control. And then out of nothing we conceded a goal just before half-time, when I am not sure it should have been a corner. Definitely from the first-half performance we should have got much more.
“In the second half, we started well again and there was a great opportunity for Puscas. And we could have levelled the game. But unfortunately they scored a second goal.
“The team tried until the end but we lacked the freshness we needed to have that precision in the final third and we were missing that end product. We had possession but we couldn’t establish a flow.
“I’m proud of every single one of our players. This sort of performance is the kind of performance we want to have going forward, we had our identity, we had intensity, we were very good on the ball, we were sharp and we created opportunities – all against a team who are top of the table and who haven’t lost a game this season.
“But the final product wasn’t there. We missed our chances and they had better outcomes from their opportunities - and that is why we didn’t get the result to go with the performances. And the result is the bottom line.
“But we have to look to help this team, a team which is competing with 10 or 11 fit guys in every single game. They give their souls out there for the team. So we have to look at the hard work we are all putting in out there, appreciate that and help them.”
Paunovic on Bournemouth
“Bournemouth have a good squad, they have quality, experience and good coaching staff. Their confidence is huge. The game today was very even, so every time we confront teams that are top of the table, usually they will slip. I wish we were the team that stopped their fantastic form today but it was not to be.”
Paunovic on misfiring striker George Puscas
“He worked very hard today. We’ve got to support him. We’ve got to keep working on his finishing, and we believe it will come.”
Paunovic on only making one change five minutes before the end of the game
“We try with those who we think are ready. We have in our U23s the same injury as in our first team because we push them too soon for something they are not ready for.
“We know who is ready and who is not ready. It could be very dangerous for their career and for the team.”
Paunovic on whether he was worried about his team’s workload
“Absolutely. We will look to save the group as much as we can. We will use everything in our power to get them ready.”
Paunovic on zonal marking, injuries and getting more support
“The defence is a very delicate thing and if you lose your focus or if you lose your attitude, they can surprise you. I know very well my team and what they can do. Last year we conceded 0 goals from set-pieces but there are many things that are involved. They prepared well.
“I understand you guys [the media] want to flip things around. It is what it is, this team had a very good display but unfortunately, we didn’t take our chances which were first in the game, and better, and very well done [created].
“That’s a positive thing and on the other side we conceded a goal from a set-piece and that really pissed me off. And what pissed me off more is we have to look to help this team that is competing with 10 or 11 guys every game.
“They give their souls and lives for the team so a little bit more respect and acknowledgement, I think. I’m sorry to tell you that but you have to look at the hard work that we are all putting out there and support a bit more.”