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Veljko Paunovic Largely Upbeat But Criticises Finishing In Derby Defeat

The gaffer's take after Reading's 1-0 loss at Pride Park.

Fulham v Reading - EFL Championship Photo by Federico Maranesi/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Royals’ winning form came to an end last night with a 1-0 defeat against Derby County at Pride Park. Craig Forsyth scored the only game of the goal in the 33rd minute to give Derby all three points which now means that they have a point on the board after having points deducted.

Reading now sit in 13th, just three points behind the play-offs. Veljko Paunovic felt there were a lot of positives, he spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live after the game.

Paunovic on the result

"I think overall the team did well. The one action which saw them score the goal we must acknowledge they did better than us, but other than that I think we played a good game.

"We controlled large parts of the game, we were composed, we created opportunities – but the shots we got on target didn’t find the back of the net.

"We consistently brought the ball into the final third and all those shots we had, some were off target and a lot were blocked by their goalkeeper or charged down by interventions. We should have tested the keeper with more diversity in our finishing; our final execution didn’t test them enough.

"We are a team who has scored a lot of goals and today that was missing. We had a lot of shots on goal, but we couldn’t get one through.

"However, the team had a very good spirit and the confidence was there – something we have recovered in the recent positive run we’ve had.

"Right now the team are disappointed of course. But we have an opportunity in just a couple of days time to redeem ourselves.

"The team pushed, the team showed character, but we just needed that final pass, that little bit more in the final third tonight. That’s normally something we are good at, so we will fix that and we will come back stronger.

"We dropped points tonight, but we have to brush it off our shoulders immediately. The hardest thing was to recover the confidence and the style of play. And we recovered that with our recent performances.

"So the damage that this loss does is less. But we know we have to pick up immediately, refocus as soon as possible, because we have another opportunity to earn points on Saturday in Cardiff."

Paunovic on if Reading underestimated Derby

“No chance."

Paunovic on George Puscas' performance

“He gave his best, as did the rest of the team, and that's it.”

Paunovic on the reason for dropping Junior Hoilett

“It wasn't dropping him, it's managing our team the best we can for what we have ahead and what we had behind in terms of the effort and the output that all of them need to have, especially with so many injuries.”

Paunovic on Scott Dann's debut

“We are building his form. It was very important for us in the moments where we pushed forward late on and played with one centre-back. Yiadom and Rahman pushed forward so with his experience and presence he could help so he is a huge resource for us.

“We could release Laurent to play in midfield too. He played fantastic at centre-back in previous games and was one of the best on the field."

Paunovic on bouncing back

“We have to create another winning run. It's important to finish this part of the season on a positive side and build into the next streak of games and prepare again.”