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Veljko Paunovic Proud Of Youngsters Despite Cup Defeat To Swansea

He took positives from the display of a team that featured five first-team debuts.

Reading v West Ham United - Pre-Season Friendly - Select Car Leasing Stadium Photo by Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

Veljko Paunovic put out a very young side against Swansea in the Carabao Cup as the Royals lost 3-0 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium. The average age of our starting line up was 19 as Paunovic made 10 changes from our defeat at Stoke City on Saturday.

It has been a tough week for the Royals and after the game, Paunovic refused to comment on any transfer targets. Here is what he had to say after the defeat; he spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live

Paunovic on the performance

“It’s definitely positive for all the players who had their debut today. They had this experience and they showed glimpses of their talent when we got on the ball. It was hard for them though, playing in front of a crowd, playing for the last 20 minutes with 10 men, against a team with so much more experience.

“But I’m very happy with the effort. I think the team fought very hard throughout the whole game. Even after the setbacks of conceding. We never lost our composure, even when we were playing with a man down at the end… another burden for them to carry.

“But they showed fantastic character, showed fantastic mentality. They worked hard, together, and they gave it all. They gave their best for the team. So I’m proud of a team who was so young. And I’m very encouraged with their performance and with their consistency.”

Paunovic on conceding from corners

“Last season we didn’t concede goals from the first contact from corners. But we have conceded a few that way already this season. That is something we have to improve – we have to improve defensively overall, we have conceded too many goals in pre-season and in the season so far.

Paunovic on injuries

“We’re still assessing Joao but he is feeling better. We will still assess him. Swift is improving well but we are closely monitoring him. Ejaria is also improving.”