Date:Monday December 18 2006
Steve Coppell has admitted that his team let themselves down on Saturday, after giving up a lead to Blackburn to lose at the Madejski Stadium.
Reading had been in control of the game come half time thanks to James Harper`s goal and a string of chances, but come second half the tables turned and Reading came out a changed team.
Blackburn came out of their dressing room replenished and ready for a fight while the Royals re-emerged a shadow of the team that had played in the first half.
"In the first half we played some good stuff. We were attacking them, not letting them play, but we were a totally different side after half-time." Coppell commented.
'I knew we would get a response from the opposition but I thought we would be strong enough to withstand it."
But apparently not, the Royals could offer very little in the form of a fight against the revitalised Rovers and paid the ultimate price as Blackburn took all three points thanks to goals from Benni McCarthy and David Bentley.
"The reality was they got stronger as the game went on and you could just feel that if anyone was going to win it was going to be them."
'Blackburn took advantage and for the first time I don't think we responded well. We let ourselves down for the first time this year.'
Steve Sidwell was also critical of his own and his team`s complacent performance:
"The second half was the worst we`ve been for a long, long time.
"The turnaround was amazing. There is a lot of hype surrounding us at the moment because we have done well and we were high up in the table, but we have to just ignore it all."
Sidwell was quick to warn that should the team keep turning out displays like that, then Reading`s time in the Premier League will be short lived:
"We need to pick up as many points as we can as soon as we can. We have to act as if we are down there near the bottom and in a relegation battle.
"We were a bit naive in recent games to think we can just take points off people and we can`t afford to do that."
And Steve Coppell agrees that there is going to need to be a drastic improvement in Reading if they are to survive the busy Christmas period:
"Every week is a surprise but we don`t seem to carry anything forward from one game to the next. Every game in itself is an individual entity.
"The confidence hasn`t carried on when we`ve won, but when we have been beaten it hasn`t been as if we`ve been tense or nervous the next time."
Lets hope the team can get it together and return to winning ways ahead of games at home to Everton and West Ham and away at Man Utd and Chelsea.
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