The Royals conceded a 98th-minute goal to leave Coventry with nothing after a poor afternoon at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
It started well with the Royals going in 1-0 up at half time through a John Swift penalty. Reading sat back in the second half and invited pressure with Coventry levelling through Jamie Allen. Their comeback was complete with Matt Godden getting the winner in the 98th minute.
Veljko Paunovic was very unhappy after the game and ended up getting booked by the referee. He did admit that the defeat was definitely on us, and that we lacked experience. After the game he spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Paunovic on the game
“This is football… today, we were on the other end of glory.
“In the previous action, we had an opportunity to score from the corner kick. And then in the last second of the game, we crumbled and conceded a goal that banished our opportunity of earning a point from the performance we had today.
“There is definitely disappointment in how we conceded. It is on us – it’s definitely on us. We lacked experience and a bit of everything in those moments. And we have to deal these things. And we have to deal with the referee adding extra time to the extra time.
“Deal with adversity, and deal with it until the end. It is hard for everyone… you can’t drop your shield. These important aspects, we missed in the last seconds. But only in the last seconds. Until then, I was very happy with the team and how we managed the game.
“I was happy how handled the first 15 minutes – how we confronted them until we got on the ball, and then created opportunities and then took the lead. Things were going our way – after we conceded, we recomposed and got back into what we were trying to do. Everything worked well until that last second.
“We had that play in the last moments when we were unlucky not to score. So instead of talking about getting three points, we are talking about dropping a point. There are a lot of things to work on, a lot of things to improve.
“We dropped an important point. The team worked very hard – we sacrificed a lot and we had playing with a lot of issues. But we still managed to play a good first half, and the second half we had good opportunities to increase our lead.
“Unfortunately, we conceded the equalising goal and after a few minutes of being knocked down, I believe we recomposed ourselves and began to play well again until the last seconds of the game. That was a big giveaway. It cost us a lot today. We’ll work to improve and to not repeat these mistakes.”
Paunovic on Tom McIntyre and injuries
“It is too early to know about Tom – I don’t want to jinx it but I hope it isn’t a long-term injury. We are used to seeing all kinds of long-term injuries in our team – it looks like we are cursed. So, we will see.
“We are limited – but we have youngsters who are working very hard, and who are trying their best to improve. That takes time, but that is the other side of the game.
“When you are in this situation, you work with what you have. You have to encourage the guys to keep working – because they are really great players and they are even better people.”
Paunovic on the prospect of more signings
“As you know, I don’t like to discuss everything but, you probably should expect something. Right now, there is nothing imminent, but the transfer market never stops until the last day we will look to be active.
“We have not had any enquiries [for outgoings] that I know about, but that is also a possibility we have to expect.
“We have to expect a lot of teams are looking to improve their teams so we have to be ready for that. It could be a temptation depending on how good the offers are, but I look at it from a footballing side.”
Paunovic on conceding 25 shots
“Defensively we have to improve, that’s something I’ve always stated. I keep saying that. Most of their shots came in the second half when we lost our composure after the first goal, but we quickly regrouped and calmed down. So no, I’m not happy.”
Paunovic on if he is worried about his own future
“It’s going to be a tough year, it’s already tough so it is what it is.”
Paunovic on whether we will be competitive this season
“Definitely, it has to be, we’ll figure it out and we’ll find a way.”
Paunovic on what the club can do in the transfer window
“We can only sign loan players and free agents in a certain frame of contractual requirements and agreements so we are limited.”
Paunovic on if there is a wage limit for new players
“There are parameters we have to work with.”