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Reading’s Draw With QPR ‘Feels Like A Defeat’ To Veljko Paunovic

The Royals blew a 3-1 lead late on to draw 3-3 with QPR.

Reading v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship - Madjeski Stadium Photo by Simon Galloway/PA Images via Getty Images

Veljko Paunovic admitted that our 3-3 draw against QPR at the Select Car Leasing Stadium felt like a defeat after conceding two late goals. The Royals currently sit in the relegation zone after dropping points.

QPR took the lead through a Michael Morrison own goal, but John Swift scored the equaliser before half time to take us in level at half time. The second half was much better with Swift scoring his second of the afternoon, and later completing his hat-trick to put us in a really good position. Andre Gray made it 3-2 to make it a nervy last 10 minutes. Stefan Johansen equalised in the 91st minute to steal a point for the visitors.

Paunovic felt that there were positives, but agrees that the defence needs to be improved. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live after the game.

Paunovic on the performance

“There were a lot of positives in our second-half performance, but I can’t deny that it feels like a defeat. We were on the verge of winning three points. But again conceding three goals… it is a must-fix, we must address it. It is a priority and urgency for our team. We scored a lot of goals but we have to stop the bleeding.

“We will have games like this. In the first half we didn’t play well at all; in the second half we managed to play against a very good team who are in very good form right now.

“The three goals we scored today – they were pieces of art. But we need to fix the defence and we need urgency at this point. So we will keep working on it; we are in a week of three games, where we don’t have time to lament. We have to lift our spirits again and get in shape for Tuesday here at home.”

Paunovic on moving forwards

“This team is still growing, the team still needs time to learn to play together, as we have a lot of new players. We still need to get in shape, and that’s the process we are going through.

“We saw glimpses of their talent and capabilities, so we know we’re going to get more from them. We’ve got to keep them healthy, fit, and improve all together with the team.

“But I am confident we will start to pick up our form in the next couple of games. There were positives in the second half and those positives have to be there consistently.

“We had fantastic fans and the support was great; we are very grateful for their support. Now we have to start picking up our form.”

Paunovic on Swift’s hat-trick

“The three goals were a work of art. Swift understands much more this year the quality of his finishing actions. I am very happy for him. Everything he does, he helps the team.”

Paunovic on our defence

“It’s a matter of team attitude and urgency, and knowledge of how to defend. We need more leadership at that moment, we need people to step in and win their battles, have the knowledge to clear the ball as far as you can instead of playing one-twos like we tried to.

“That was pretty childish if I’m honest. You have to feel much more urgency. Someone was missing the knowledge, someone was missing the attitude, someone was missing the urgency and at the end of the day that’s too much.

“We paid the consequences of that. Someone needed to step up and shout, take the responsibility to push the lines outside, win their battles and count [see] the game [out].”