The Royals travelled to Eastleigh for the second round of the FA Cup, which resulted in a 2-1 defeat.
It was more than just a fixture, it was an opportunity for the football world to see what is happening to us as a club. Before the game, Mark Bowen announced that himself and manager Ruben Selles were not being paid until all staff at the club have been paid. Protests took place in the 16th minute.
Eastleigh took the lead in the first half and Femi Azeez equalised with just minutes left of the game. Eastleigh scored the winner with just seconds to go though to secure their place in the third round of the FA Cup.
Here is what Selles had to say; he spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.
Selles on the defeat
“We cannot go with this feeling. It’s a cup match – we went down in the first half, we managed to come back, we created situations to score the second. We didn’t score it, and when you’re in that position when you’re on top but don’t score… it is disappointing.
“We have a squad that can compete. Some of the players who have been playing well in League One recently came on today and changed the game in our favour. That’s what we needed but, it was not enough.
“We have made changes to the team before – we went and beat Millwall, we were competitive against Ipswich, and we have been the best team in the EFL Trophy group stage. So there is no regret in making changes – this is how we do things.
“Now we need to think about what went wrong today and what we can do better. Then to field a team that can compete against Charlton that is fresh for that game.”
Selles on first-half performance
“We also had some situations from outside the box, but this is football. It was not a relief; we knew we needed to be better but it is a cup game and you need to be prepared for all scenarios.”
Selles on squad selection
“No, you know the policy we have with cups. I have been playing with this team and they have beaten Millwall away and drawn with Ipswich and had an excellent group stage in the EFL Trophy. We have kept with it as we usually do, to give an opportunity for the players working hard and today it did not work.”
Selles on no Caylan Vickers
“Sometimes we are playing with one striker, and I think the structure was okay. I was about to bring on another striker, Femi was causing a lot of problems on the right, Paul [Mukairu] was doing the same on the left.
“Harvey was arriving in the second lines and Sam Smith had power. Unfortunately, there is not space for everyone. Caylan has been working well, he was on the bench and an option, but we decided to go with another one.”
Selles on no Sam Hutchinson
“He is fit. Craigy is suspended for the cup game, and we decided to continue with him because he was doing well in League One.”
Selles on Wednesday squad selection
“We need to review it. We expect to have a competitive team, as usual, and that is what we will have.”
Selles on Eastleigh
“I want to congratulate Eastleigh. They played their game; they were strong in the aerial duels in the second action, their striker has been doing this for their entire season and they showed what they are capable of. So I want to wish them all the best.”
Selles on the fans
“We didn’t give the fans anything for all the support that they showed us. They keep the faith and keep supporting the boys. So I am very thankful for that.”