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Paul Ince On Late 'Tough To Take' Defeat At Sunderland

The gaffer's thoughts on Baba Rahman, his team's performance and more as Reading lose late on at Sunderland.

Sunderland v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Royals sunk to another defeat this time at the hands of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. A late mistake was punished with Patrick Roberts securing all three points for the home side.

The relegation area is beginning to loom ever closer and manager Paul Ince was disappointed with the defeat despite being on top for most of the game. Here is what he had to say; he spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.

Ince on the defeat

“We got punished in the 84th minute and you end up losing a game you shouldn’t lose. There is not much more to say about it. We made a mistake, they won the game. That’s the bottom line.

“In the first half we nullified them. They had 40,000 or so here, great support, and we wanted to try to quieten them. And in the first half we did that.

“We had three or four opportunities which, if we had been a bit more precise in the transition, we would have opened them up. And you could sense when the ball went into their box they were uncomfortable.

“But we came in at half time, there was a bit of unrest in the crowd and half our job was done.

“In the second half, Sunderland have some superb technicians up front, some really good players like Roberts, Pritchard, Clarke and Diallo and we kept them quiet in the main. You expect them to have a couple of chances, they are at home – and Joe made a couple of good saves. But apart from those moments, they didn’t really threaten us.

“And you think you’ve ridden the worst and then, all of a sudden, you make a mistake.

“To come here and frustrate them like we did with our performance was positive and I’m pleased with the boys' attitude. But it's tough to take, losing that way. Especially after a seven-hour journey to get up here."

“It’s an individual mistake, but we are one. It’s not about individuals. Baba is devastated in there and it shows he cares. It hurts him and he feels like he has let us down, which he’s not.

“You can coach players until the cows come home, but if you make an individual mistake, you can’t coach for that. That’s life.

“And no matter what I say or anyone else says, when you have that long journey back down to Reading, you can’t console someone. I’ve been there. Everyone tries to console you, but it’s not possible. So I just said ‘get it out of your system and let’s go again on Tuesday’.

"And that’s what we’ll all do. We go again, we move forward and we attack what is now our fourth ‘three games in six days’ week.

"The fans who came all the way up here want to see the players' passion and these players tried so hard, worked so hard. Of course they want to see their team win and we wanted to get the win for us and for the fans.

"We know it is a long journey back for them and the lads in the dressing room appreciate them and the effort our supporters went to today. Hopefully now we can pay them back on Tuesday night when we take on Rotherham at home."

Ince on Baba Rahman's mistake

“You can’t do anything about it. It’s an individual mistake but we are one. Baba is devastated in there which shows that he cares but I said we made a mistake, you didn’t, because we’re a team. You can coach them until the cows come home, if you make an individual mistake you can’t coach that. That’s life. He's devastated and it hurts him. He feels like he has let us down, which he hasn’t.

"It’s never easy when you make individual mistakes because it doesn’t matter what I say with a six-and-a-half-hour journey home to Reading. I’ve been there - I missed a penalty at a World Cup. Get it out of your system and we go again on Tuesday.”

Ince on Tom McIntyre

“With Mama being out for two games we haven’t got a natural six. We saw him last year against Sheffield United and he coped well. I thought today he did very well. He’s one of those players who can play numerous positions and I was pleased with how he played.”

Ince on Shane Long

“You’re talking about someone who’s 36 trying to play game after game. That’s where we are with Shane. He gives us so much for someone who’s at such an age. It’s tough to keep playing game after game. Lucas was out and we were fortunate to bring Yakou Meite on for 15 minutes, but this is where we are.”

Ince on Liam Moore

“He got 45 minutes so hopefully. We need to see when we get back down south."