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Paul Ince Takes Positives From Narrow Blackburn Defeat

The gaffer’s take on how the 2-1 defeat at Ewood Park played out, including his thoughts on goalscorer Cesare Casadei and the sent-off Mamadou Loum.

Blackburn Rovers v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - Ewood Park Photo by Ian Hodgson/PA Images via Getty Images

Yet another defeat away from home, this time to play-off contenders Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

The home side took the lead within the first two minutes through Ben Brereton Diaz but Reading came back in the second half through Cesare Casadei. Ryan Hedges got the winner in the 82nd minute to secure three points to help Blackburn in their play-off charge. Things got worse for Reading as Mamadou Loum was sent off.

Here is what manager Paul Ince had to say. He spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.

Ince on the defeat

“The team played well tonight – our away record is not great as you know, but you wouldn’t have thought so the way we played today.

“Firstly, you can’t give them a goal so early. We get done on the counter attack from our own corner. You’ve got to get yourself a foothold in the game. We’ve got to give ourselves a chance!

“They’re a good team, Blackburn, but we started to play some good stuff. We stayed in the game, their fans started getting a bit nervous and once we got the equaliser they started to panic, putting passes straight out of play and I thought we’d get at least something out of the game.

“Joe made some fantastic saves but so did theirs. I would have been pleased with a point and then move forward. But a lapse in concentration costs us. We switched off and we are 2-1 down.

“The second goal is disappointing for us defensively – and that really annoys me. In a game we’ve worked so hard in, after the performance we’ve put in for all the fans who came up here on a Wednesday night and again we’ve come away with nothing.

“And it was a moment of madness from Mama near the end. He was fantastic up until that point, he looked comfortable on the ball, he was setting up attacks – and then to go and do something like that.

“It’s not the sending off, it’s the fact that we’ll be without him for three games when we only have nine games to go. We’re light in midfield as it is, so the last thing we needed was one of them to do something like that.

“You can see what he gives us when he’s on the top of his game, but he’s let his teammates and the fans down. He knows himself. But there’s not much we can do about it now, we just have to take it on the chin.

“We should have had a point at home to Sheffield United, we should have taken a point at home to Millwall and we should have had a point here tonight. But I don’t want to keep saying that our performance deserved something. We need to get some points on the board.

“We’ve come here with four or five senior players out of the side. So I’m proud of the boys – they put in a great shift. Their heads never went down. And we’ve got to keep plugging away.

“We’ve got to keep reproducing that performance. But we know it’s about getting points. So we have to start turning our performances into points.”

Ince on Loum’s dismissal

“I’m disappointed with Loum. First and foremost he played really well - I thought he was outstanding and we looked a better team with him in it.

“He’s a natural six and allows Hendrick and Casadei to get forward. To have him back and with the others out I was thinking great but to do that - stupidity - he let himself down, us kills you. We are at the business part of the season and now we will lose him for three matches which is, for me, selfish. I love him, but you just can’t do that.

“It is a sending off - the other guy has gone down as if he has been shot but there’s no getting away from it, it was a red card. He’s let everyone down. He knows that. It affects the team now for the next three games.”

Ince on Casadei

“It was a big night for him. It was great to see him get his first goal. He should have had two or three goals to be fair. I’m pleased for him, as a young kid coming into the game. But now we have to turn these performances into points.”