The Royals ended the 2020/2021 season with a 2-2 draw against Huddersfield at the Madejski Stadium. Reading finished the campaign seventh overall and the talk after the match was very much about preparing for next season and moving forwards.
It started frustratingly for the Royals with the visitors taking the lead after 15 minutes. Michael Olise scored from the penalty spot just minutes after going behind and Yakou Meite made it 2-1, but Reading were unable to hold onto the points with Huddersfield equalising in the 93rd minute - maybe sums up our season in some ways!
Paunovic on the game
“I think we definitely should have won this game, we should have done a better job at the end. Today we played good football. We didn’t start well but we regained our composure, reestablished our way of playing football and we were capable of flipping the result in our favour.
“And we were playing very good football until the last 20 minutes or so - when we started to rush things a little bit. We made changes to try and secure the result, but we didn’t want to lose our presence in attack and we wanted to see more of the ball.
“The result is not what what we wanted. It is not the best way to finish a season which should overall be considered an improvement. The last two weeks were very hard - after our chances of the play-offs vanished. But we kept our good spirit and we kept our good football until the end.
“I’m not in a good mood after today’s game. But I know myself and I will recover in the next couple of days. And from this moment on, a new season starts for everyone at this football club.”
Paunovic on next season
“We will reflect on this season, learn from it and then we will look to start to build on the positives we have had throughout the whole year. We will look to reinforce our team, reinforce our identity, develop players but also it is always important to get results.
“As a person, I always want more. I love competing. And today was a great chance to finish the season positively. But what is most important now is how we use this time in the off season, to get the guys refreshed, re-energised, motivated for another great season which we all want to have.”
Paunovic on his future
“I can’t wait for next season to start. I’m so enthusiastic about the future and to be able to apply everything I’ve learned this year. I expect to be here next season. I work as if I will be here. I understand how everything works and I always give my best. I treat this club as my club.
“I enjoy it here with the team and the people I have worked with. I understand that’s also something I don’t control so I always give my best.
“We’re already talking about reinforcements for next season. We have certain knowledge and a plan in place. We can’t right now advance too much. When the season is over for everyone, that’s when we can advance.
“We will keep working and preparing.”