'We failed as a team': Reading boss gives damning take after his side 'crumble' against Blackpool

Reading boss Veljko Paunović felt his side "crumbled" and "failed as a team" in their 3-2 defeat to Blackpool tonight.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 11:18 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 11:58 pm

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Neil Critchley’s men, who were utterly dominant throughout, found themselves two goals down at the half-time break after being punished for two uncharacteristic errors.

But the men in tangerine, who continuously peppered the Reading goal, eventually got their just reward in the second period.

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It all changed when deadline day signing Owen Dale came off the bench to make his Blackpool debut.

The winger scored within five minutes of entering the fray to reduce the arrears, before turning provider for Jerry Yates to equalise.

Six minutes from time, Yates fired home from the penalty spot to score for the fourth time in his last three games.

More importantly, it handed Blackpool a richly deserved victory in Berkshire against a club they hadn’t beaten away from home since 1980.

Veljko Paunović watches on behind Neil Critchley

"Today, in the second half especially, we failed as a team," Reading boss Veljko Paunović said.

"We failed in executing the game properly after a fantastic first 45 minutes, where everything went our way.

"We were ruthless, determined, very clinical. Perfectly executed.

"At half-time we addressed what can go wrong and how to prevent it from going wrong, but unfortunately the first goal we conceded really hit us hard and we couldn’t bounce back after that.

"We crumbled. We lost our composure. And that’s something that we as a team we have to do a much better job with – we have to control the game, especially when we have the lead like that.

"We have to be more effective and efficient with the ball, be capable of keeping our composure, and sticking to our plan. We didn’t abandon the plan, but we started to be uncomfortable with the situation and the pressure. And that is something we have to look at."

The Reading boss added: "We all accept responsibility for this performance and I include myself. And we have to immediately bounce back. To have a game on Saturday is a good thing.

"The Championship once again tonight showed how difficult it is. Everyone can beat everyone. And that is why it is so exciting.

"We have to acknowledge that today we didn’t do a good job, but everyone who comes in tomorrow and Friday has to come back with their mind only on Blackburn and aiming to recover as soon as possible. And we have to put in a different display this Saturday.

"We don't have too much time, but we do know this team is capable. We acknowledge our big mistake today. But there is a long way go for every team this season and there are going to be disappointments.

"This is a good team. We have a good group in that dressing room. And I'm certain we'll fix it. We need to regroup and this team can do great things when we're all on the same page.

"So I’ll be encouraging everyone to be thinking in a positive way and look at the opportunity we have ahead to fix immediately what today we haven’t done well."

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