The Royals welcomed West Bromwich Albion to the SCL Stadium, the week that they sacked Steve Bruce, but the visitors took home all three points.
There were three changes to our starting line-up including Dean Bouzanis replacing Joe Lumley in goal. Assistant manager Alex Rae was looking after the side with Paul Ince missing the game with an illness. Ince probably didn’t feel much better after the game with the Royals losing 2-0.
After the defeat, Reading sit sixth in the Championship. Here is what Alex Rae had to say after the game, he spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Rae on the performance
“We’re bitterly disappointed to lose today. We were looking for a reaction from the players, but we didn’t defend the first goal as we would like to and we ended up conceding a cheap goal. We just have to defend certain moments like that better.
“And for the first 15-20 minutes we were very much on the back foot. We managed to settle into the game but only when we were 1-0 down.
“In the second half we got at them and created chances. We were the team in the ascendancy, we were in a good moment. The second half was more like us.
“And then for the second goal, I think the only guy in the stadium who didn’t think it was a free kick on Jeff Hendrick in the build-up was the referee.
“I’ve looked back at it, spoken to some of their coaching staff and they are in agreement. The ball is on the safe side of the player, their player has come straight through the man and ends up landing on top of him. Even if he did get a touch on the ball, he still steamrolls the player. For me it’s an easy decision to make.
“But they are an honest bunch of players in that dressing room and they kept going - their keeper would probably end up being their man of the match… he made some big saves to keep us out.
“We certainly made their keeper work for his money, we had numerous chances and he always managed to get a strong hand behind them. And we go home disappointed.”
Rae on the changes to the side
“Joe missed out with a viral thing, he’s got the same thing as the manager. No-one has tested positive, but it’s an illness which is going around a bit.
“Ovie felt something in training yesterday so as a precaution in a three-game week we took him out of the firing line today. We didn’t want to risk him when he is coming back from an injury.
“But it’s just the way things are at the moment. We have to get the boys in tomorrow, do a recovery session and then assess how we’re going to go about Tuesday night. We always knew this division was unforgiving. The good start gave us a little bit of breathing space but we want to get back to doing what we’re good at.”
Rae on the referee
“I don’t need social media to tell me when the referee has missed a decision. Everybody knows it was a free-kick. We will just have to dust ourselves down. We have another tough game at Swansea on Tuesday.
“That’s the Championship for you. If you don’t defend properly in key moments, you can get punished and you have to be clinical when the opportunities arise.”