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Paunović: Draw ‘feels like defeat’ after late QPR leveller pegs back Royals

Reading v Crystal Palace

Reading manager Veljko Paunović admitted that the team’s draw against Queens Park Rangers ‘felt like a defeat.’

The Royals were agonisingly close to breaking Queens Park Rangers’ unbeaten start to the season as John Swift bagged a hat-trick, but Stefan Johansen scored a stoppage time equaliser for the visitors.

“The result feels like a defeat,” said Paunović.

“There were big improvements in our team in attack. And to be completely honest, I think we played against a team with much more confidence than us, but what we did not manage properly was the result in the last 10 minutes.

“We didn’t perform well in defence and that’s the biggest disappointment I have

“This season we started very poorly in defence, it’s a matter of the whole team defending together. We need to have urgency to defend, it’s something we have to address.

“The three goals scored were a work of art. I think the fans enjoyed watching our team play in attack and we could have had even more. We have to be consistent.”Paunovic was understandably full of praise for hat-trick hero John Swift, and also new signings Baba Rahman and Alan Halilovic.

“He understands his role much better this year. He has been much more ruthless in front of goal. The most important thing is everything he does on the field, it helps the team.

“Baba was very solid. They have to learn how to play hear, they have had just a couple days of training. He’s an intelligent player with a lot of quality. If we get good results, the confidence will be there.”

He also expects to have other new additions Danny Drinkwater and Scott Dann available soon.

“We are working on them to be fit, we believe this week it will happen but we don’t want to rush it and regret it.”

Despite the improvement, the Reading boss was still disappointed at his team’s defensive work.

“We were trying to fix our defence because they pushed their full backs up higher and we put a flat line of five. We looked to shorten distances so we could block crosses with our wide players helping the full-backs.

“I think its a matter of attitude, urgency and knowledge on how to defend. When you concede late, all of these aspects were not at their best.

“We need more leadership in that moment and people to step in and win their battles and clear the ball.

“We paid the consequences for that.”

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