The Royals hosted Ipswich Town in the second round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night but ended up losing out on penalties after the game finished 2-2.
Reading took the lead in the second minute to a Ipswich own goal; the visitors then equalised just before half-time. They took the lead early in the second half before Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan scored to make it level. Ipswich came out on top in the penalty shootout to go through to the next round.
Manager Ruben Selles was proud of his young side’s performance despite the penalty shootout defeat. Here is what he had to say; he spoke to the official club website and Reading Chronicle.
Selles on the performance
“For some of our players, that is the first time they have experienced a penalty shootout in professional football and it is not about practicing penalties, it is about experiencing penalty shootouts in the pressure of the moment.
“When we arrived at the club, we found a very young group of players with good qualities. And it’s always important to have a group of players who want to play together, have fun together, perform together.
“And as we say, this is a process. These are young players who we need tom help grow. And tonight’s game was one they can be proud of.
“Kelvin scoring his goal, Michael Craig did well again after he made an impact at Millwall in the last round, Jay Senga made his first appearance in the line-up, Amadou in as a centre-back, Tom Mac coming back to the team, Coniah in goal – an unbelievable ball to set up Kelvin for the second goal, Basil making his first start – there were a lot of good performances today.
“And they will learn a lot from this experience. They have gone through some tough periods in the first few weeks of the season, but they have shown that they have the character and the personality to be better every day, to play against opponents of a higher level – this is part of our path together and they took some good steps forward on that path this evening.
“These players are performing and growing every day. And we know these young players are working hard every day and can compete against any opponent – so making the changes we did today was an easy decision.”
“I am very proud of my team today. We played a very good game of football against a very good opponent, one grade higher than us. We are disappointed with the result, of course. We wanted to win the tie and go to the next round. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result at the end, but the performance was there.”
Selles on squad togetherness
“We have a very healthy dressing room. Players want to be around and do things together. We are growing that. It also comes with the team selection and the kind of players we have in the dressing room. Some of them have been educated together and some are coming new take the lead. They want to play together and do things together and when you have that kind of environment it is a pleasure for a coach.”
Selles on Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan’s impact
“Not only Kelvin. When we prepared for the game we needed to make some rotation because we knew there were high demands. We also knew that some of the players who played last weekend could make an impact on the game: Charlie Savage, Harvey Knibbs and of course Kelvin.
“We know, because of the way we played against teams in our category, above us about 60-65 minutes our energy would get lower. We needed that and of course he came fresh into a game that had high demands for everybody. In that action, for example, we have the throw from Coniah that is top class to make the pass and it is not only one player, but also a team effort.”
Selles on league focus
“Tomorrow we will get everyone together to analyse the game and make it a good recovery day. Then give the boys a day off and the three days in the lead to the game.”
Selles on transfer window
“We can have some situations. We are working on a couple of players that can join us and let’s see if we have a player going out. I don’t expect a big, massive change, but there are a couple of moments to do.”