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Ruben Selles Criticises Poor First Half In Cheltenham Town Draw

The manager's full take on a 2-2 at Cheltenham.

Eastleigh v Reading - Emirates FA Cup - Second Round - Silverlake Stadium Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

The Royals came from 2-0 down to secure a point at relegation rivals Cheltenham Town on Friday night.

Cheltenham looked as though they were going to go into half time 2-0 up after a poor first-half display from Reading, but quick-fire goals from Jeriel Dorsett and Paul Mukairu in stoppage time secured a point.

Manager Ruben Selles said that it was a tough game away from home but was pleased to pick up a point. Here is what he had to say, he spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.

Selles on the performance

“A difficult game away from home. It was a good start from the opponent in the game, I think it was a poor performance from us in the first 40 minutes, they were the better team in this time, and we were not in the game at all.

"Then we came back, we start to do the things that we usually do. Put the ball down, be aggressive into the spaces, and from a corner kick, what we have not been doing in the last games, we scored the first one and then got the equaliser, it gave us some energy straight away, then we went into half-time thinking that we went through that difficult period so we can get something.

"The second half was an equal game, and we defended some set-play situations in the end well, and we had some set-play situations we could have scored from. I am happy with the performance. Of course, we need to start the game much better.

“We knew with their new coach the style of play that they have. They are really good in the things that they do, and we knew the kind of game we would have in front of us. We were not on top of it, and we paid the price in the first 40 minutes, we could not win any first or second balls, put the ball down or almost do anything that we planned for the game.

“The team has energy, the boys are really powerful in terms of physicality and as we say we are not going to say any excuses. The players that I put in today I think are the best players to win the match and fatigue didn't play a role in the game.

“The team can be clinical, but they also need to go through a couple of situations like today, playing away to a good opponent in a good moment who are also in the relegation battle, and we still need to learn how to play these games. I think we learned a big lesson today; we took a point so the day was good, and hopefully the next time it happens we will be ready from the beginning.

“The boys already improved in the last part of the first half, we knew they were going to be a difficult team to control, especially in the set plays, but I thought that we were competitive in that part of the game.”

Selles on the poor start

"Things happen. They are not going to score every situation and we are not going to miss every situation. That doesn’t happen. We were ready to go inside and change for the second half, but the good thing is the team spirit they showed. They are growing through the difficult moments together and they showed competitiveness to come back.”

Selles on the comeback

"No team plays the perfect 100 minutes. Inside the games are lots of games - we were not in the game for the first 40 but then we changed the momentum, and the second half was an equal game where we showed our abilities.

"In the end we defended the set pieces we needed to defend- I don’t know where they got the extra minute and a half, but we were competitive until the end and I was proud of the effort and togetherness they showed today.”

Selles on Lewis Wing role

"He is a key player for us. His delivery in play and from set plays, his physicality and pressure and experience make him a very good part of the game. Today, we needed a player like him to turn things around and he showed the player that he is."

Selles on our turnaround and being competitive

“I think in the last couple of months we have turned things around, we are competitive, can get points, and challenge every team in the league. This is what we need to aim for in the next game and in the New Year and go about the second part of the season in that way.”

Selles on Monday’s game against Exeter

“Monday will be a very different game to today, Exeter are a team that has been struggling but they have a clear philosophy, and a good coach, and they didn't win for a long time similar to us but they turned it around, and it is going to be difficult, it is a team that wants to be good in possession, play out from the back, explore the spaces and pull you in, and they want to come high and press us. It is going to be a competitive game and we will be ready for that.

“Right now, all we are thinking about is having a good recovery day tomorrow, and then let's take that game a little bit after things happens, so quick here and so different day by day but that Exeter game will come, and we still need to do a couple of things ahead of that game.”

Selles on the fans

“The fans are absolutely amazing, they have been supporting us for the entire season and they see the team growing, unfortunately in the first 45 minutes today the football was not the best for them to watch but they were supporting us throughout that period and then they helped us come back into the game and stay competitive until the very end.”