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Veljko Paunovic On Reading FC’s 4-1 Defeat At Norwich City

Pauno unpacks a match which went well for 45 minutes, but unravelled after the break.

Bristol City v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Norwich City became the Championship champions after a 4-1 victory against Reading at Carrow Road.

With the Royals’ season over, it was a chance to experiment and try something new ahead of next season. It started well with Josh Laurent putting the Royals 1-0 up but Norwich equalised heading into the break after a poor back pass by Tom Holmes with Kieran Dowell slotting home. The second half got worse for the Royals with Dowell scoring his second, Xavi Quintilla scoring a sensational free kick and Teemu Pukki capitalising on another Reading mistake.

Manager Veljko Paunovic said it was a tough defeat to take. He spoke to the official club website, Reading Chronicle and GetReading after the game.

Paunovic on the defeat

“Firstly, I have to congratulate Norwich. They have done a very good job - that is obvious. And they have been consistent throughout the whole season. We have to acknowledge a very good team and we wish them the best of luck.

“The result though is tough to see, especially because we played some of our best football in the first half. We should have been 2-0 up and then we conceded the equaliser which was tough on us. If it had been 2-0 up at half time, you start the second half looking for your opportunity for a third. Instead of that, we went in at 1-1 and got completely the opposite.

“The first half was a very good match-up between the two teams who played good football. That’s what we came here to do, play good football.

“We wanted to come here and challenge them, prolong their wait to celebrate the title... we didn’t come here to surrender. But we lost in the second half. The guys gave their all and we tried to keep playing our football. But at the end it seems like we were here to contribute to their celebration. That’s not the case.

“You saw on the sidelines and on the pitch, everyone was fighting for every ball. And we had chances. But we didn’t convert. And again a lack of killer instinct, lack of execution - that’s what I’m not happy about recently. And it is something we have to learn for next season.

“It’s a ‘must have’ in the Championship and in any competition you want to win. And we want to win... definitely. Today is not going to be easy. But now we have to lift the guys. We have to finish strong. We have to finish by recovering our fundamentals and finish the season the proper way.”

Paunovic on making changes

“Everyone wanted to be the best, there is always an improvement. You don’t want to lose and that is what shapes our perception in selection.

“There is no temptations in terms of who is going to play. We always want to win and look at the team, Dejan came in and had a very good game - he was excellent with his application and effort. I’m very happy how the veterans of the team helped him durimg the game.