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Paul Ince Bemoans Passivity And Deep Defending In QPR Collapse

The manager criticised his team for dropping deep and inviting pressure while 2-0 up against QPR - rather than looking to kill the game off.

Reading v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by John Early/Getty Images

The Royals let a two-goal lead slide by conceding two second-half goals against QPR at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Saturday. Jeff Hendrick scored both goals before half-time to put us in a good position, but QPR came out strong in the second 45 minutes through goals from Tyler Roberts.

Reading are now 14th in the Championship table and manager Paul Ince felt that we needed to be braver. He spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.

Ince on the draw

“In the second half we were too passive. Much as we went in at 2-0 up, I wasn’t really pleased with the performance at half-time and how we were keeping the ball.

“Every time we are winning games, we drop deep. And we try to defend and defend that lead instead of improving it. It’s a habit we’ve got to get out of at this club. We invite pressure and you can’t keep getting away with it.

“They got that first goal – from a throw-in which is ridiculous from us – defensively we were very poor. There was a lack of positioning, a lack of communication, we weren’t winning headers we should be winning – and I told them that after the game.

“I get holding onto a lead in the final five minutes of a game, defending deep. But not when you’re 2-0 up at half-time and you’re passive in the second half instead of going to try to win the game. We’ve got enough experience at the back to deal with that and we didn’t.

“You can’t rest on your laurels and defend deep. That is when you need leaders, voices – if I’m on the pitch and I’m a defender, I’m running past my midfield players to get us defending higher up the park. And it has to come from the back. You’ve got to be brave and we weren’t. You can’t just let teams keep attacking you.

“Their midfield started to get on the ball and cause us problems and they probably deserved their second goal. So ultimately, we have to take the point.

“When they got their second, we actually came out of our shell again and we could have scored right at the end. All in all, it is another point towards where we want to get to. But it’s frustrating.”

Ince on the refereeing performance

“It’s a blatant penalty to make it 3-0 and the game’s finished. That’s the bottom line. Another poor decision, again. You can watch it time and again, and I understand referees have tough jobs, but Shane has run across him and took him over. That’s 3-0 and game over.”

Ince on pride

“It doesn’t hurt me, it frustrates me. We’ve got enough experience in our defence to deal with it. You can’t from the second half be so passive and invite pressure. You have to have the cajhoonas to get up the park and be brave. You can’t allow people to keep attacking you for 45 minutes.

“Once they got the second goal, we came out of our shell again and went on the front foot. Thomas did a magical skill on the right and we should have scored. I’ve got to remain positive; it was disappointing not to pick up the three points, but it is a point to where we want to get to.”

Ince on Jeff Hendrick

“You know what you get with Jeff. I think he is one you can trust; he will give you six or seven out of 10. He’s not a glamorous player but he does what it says on the tin. One thing about him is that if he can add goals to his game then you have a very good player. I was really pleased for him. He will be disappointed because two goals is enough to win any game at home.

“The lads love him, the trains like a demon every day. I like professional players, and he’s one you can trust. The thing about football is that you have to have 11 players you can trust. Sometimes you don’t pick the most talented, it’s the ones you can trust week in and week out. Jeff’s one of those.”

Ince on substitutions

“They were getting a lot of joy down the left-hand side - Junior [Hoilett] was starting to flag a bit so we wanted to keep it tight. We moved Yids [Andy Yiadom] out to wing-back and brought Scott Dann with experience.

“Mama looks tired so Tom McIntyre showed against Watford he could play in that position. It has to come from the back. The midfield can’t keep saying get up, the back people have to have the balls to get up and be brave, and they didn’t.”

Ince on injuries

“Hutch could be four or five weeks, AC [Andy Carroll] rolled his ankle and Shane Long calf. We start all over again. The good thing is we have a week to prepare, normally it’s three in six days.”

Ince on defenders

“It’s got nothing to do with attacking players, we have enough attacking players on the park. It’s about getting up the park. In the first half we were up there winning, and it allowed us to get on the front foot. We created so many opportunities.

“This is about players having a voice and getting up the park. That’s the only reason behind it. You have to be brave, and today we weren’t. It’s not something we’ve not seen before, so it’s something we have to understand. It’s okay to win, and don’t be scared of losing.”