A disappointing evening at the SCL Stadium saw the Royals lose 3-0 against Sunderland.
In what was a quiet first half, Sunderland ended up going into the break 2-0 up with a brace from Patrick Roberts. Jack Clarke scored their third in the second half. Reading remain fourth in the table but Paul Ince said it was the kick up the backside that we needed. He spoke to the official club website and Berkshire Live.
Ince on the defeat
“First and foremost, credit to Sunderland. They played some good stuff and they looked a very good side. But we let them look like a very good side.
“We had no intensity, no second balls won, in possession we were sloppy, we couldn’t hold the ball up, we looked tired – and we shouldn’t be saying that after we had the weekend off. We looked nervous. They looked sharper, hungrier, we didn’t look our normal selves – we were completely the opposite to what we’ve done in the first four home games.
“They wanted it more than us, we weren’t aggressive enough, we weren’t competitive enough. We didn’t do anything right.
“We were miles off it. There is not one player who did themselves credit tonight. And if we’re not on it, we’re going to get beaten. Because we are where we are and because we’ve had a good start, everyone was getting a bit above our station.
“This result is a wake-up call. It’s a kick up the backside we needed. Our job is to stay in this league. And this is where we are. Maybe the players got carried away too. We’re not good enough not to be on it. This result puts everyone’s feet back on the ground.
“We have to compete in every game. We have to fight for everything, we have to fight to win. And we’ve got to do that in every single game until we get to March and then we’ll see where we are in the table.
“We have got to do the basics right, that’s what kept us up last year and that is what has given us a good start this season. But we didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t turn up.
“It’s 12 points from five home games and we have to be positive about that. But if we go into games with that same attitude and application, we’ll lose. So I hope to see a response on Saturday.”
Ince on getting carried away
“All that talk - I don’t like it. People getting over the top. This has brought us back down to earth. We have to stay in the league and to do that we have to compete and fight to win. You have to do the basics but we didn’t do that. The disappointing thing is if you go back to Rotherham and Sheffield United - when we concede two goals we capitulate.
“We are mentally weak - people start doing their own thing, become individuals - and that’s going back to last year. The only way we can get results is if we do the basics right. We did nothing like that. We had a couple of chances - Fornah and Meite should have scored - but we’re losing headers at the back to Pritchard who is 5ft 7in. We didn’t win anything in midfield or hold anything up top.”
Ince on Andy Carroll
“We’re looking to try and do something this week. We’re trying to get him ready before the Wigan game. Mark Bowen still needs to sit down with his agent to get the numbers as we’re not the richest club right now but we’ll see if we can get to some sort of arrangement and agreement.
“He’ll be a great acquisition for us. He’s only been in for a couple of days, but he’s been here before and is great in the changing room. He gives you Premier League quality and that mental toughness and character. He’s another voice so hopefully we can get a deal done because it’ll be great for us.”