The Manager Says!-Royals 3-2 Clarets
Steve Cotterill is quoted as saying the following to the Official Burnley FC site:
'At the end of the day, it was our defending that cost us. We probably weren't going to get anything from the game for how we defended and that is what has cost us the game really - not so much our missed chances.
'Having said that if we take our chances, we could well win the game 5-3 - and probably more than that with the chances we had.
'The keeper made some great saves and it was a spirited fight back that came a little late in the day.
'We probably needed another goal with 10 minutes to play to maybe nick another and force a replay.
'But we have given away three poor goals tonight and it puts the other six (players) under major pressure.
'Tonight we could have done with Michael Duff and hoping he played well and three others alongside him. But there were too many off colour for me.'
Cotterill goes on to say: 'In the second half we defended higher up the pitch and went and met the first ball and you didn't see the Reading strikers have as much time on the ball as in the first half.
'We were too deep and if you are too deep you put a lot of stress and strain on the midfield four and the front two. Those players could probably have run half a marathon in the first half without touching the ball whereas in the second half, when we had a higher line, you saw them have a lot more of the ball and playing more on the front foot.
'But I am probably more disappointed with our defending than our finishing and we are just disappointed that we are not in the cup any more.
'I would rather be harsh with us than soft with us. Had we done better at one end of the pitch and come to Reading, score two goals and keep a clean sheet, we progress!'
'The plus points are Ade being back and scoring again and he will get fitter as time goes on.
'It was a good finish for the goal and we were just hoping it wouldn't drop too early and then bounce over the bar.
'I also thought Kyle Lafferty did very well when he came on and Alan Mahon showed some glimpses that give you something to think about ahead of the weekend.
'Garreth O'Connor's goal also gives you something to think about and I thought Wade Elliott played very well. However, he was running on empty at the end.``
In summary my own view is that we were probably never going to win this match even if we were playing Reading Reserves. My heart hoped for at least a draw but my mind just said they would be still too strong for us!
So it proved to be and on 3:0, I suspect many Clarets feared a tonking to match the drubbing West Ham got recently against the Royals. If Reading had played the same team, maybe we would have got a pasting.
However this was a creditable performance and many positives came out of the match, The spirit, the fightback, Ade! Yes,lots of lessons to be learned and will we ever score from some of these corners? I think our average must be something like one per season if that! The defending of late has also been worrying and it seems impossible to play a stable back four with the many injuries and suspensions that continue to plague that area. Last night Duff through suspension and Sinclair still recovering from injury were the latest casualties. If Steve blames the defence for last night's defeat does this mean he is looking for opportunities to bring in some new defenders in the transfer window? At the moment all the rumours seem to suggest that bringing in strikers are top priority despite having Ade back on board.
But what do you guys think about Steve's comments particularly those of you that watched the match live?