Reading manager Paunovic wants his team to show maturity after Birmingham defeat

Reading v Watford- Veljko Paunovic
Reading v Watford- Veljko Paunovic

Veljko Paunovic has called for his side to find maturity after they fell to a home defeat to Birmingham City.

Reading had the chance to go top if results went their way, but were left in fifth after defeat to Birmingham City.

Jon Toral struck twice for the Blues before Lucas Joao missed the chance to level the game from the penalty spot after Yakou Meite had reduced the deficit for Reading.

“I wish we started the first half like we started the second. That was they key with the conviction,” said Paunovic.

“”We had the same line-up as the last game and maybe there was some fatigue. The second half reaction was fantastic. But after the penalty, we struggled to recover. You can be disappointed after that but you can’t afford to give your opponent a chance to close the game.

“I’m so happy to work with these fantastic young men and I’m proud of everything so far but we have to keep improving as a team and keep getting mature.

“It’s how you react to mistakes. I want them to re-focus and seek another opportunity, you have to concentrate on the next action and forget about the penalty and be ready for the next chance to score.”

Paunovic provided an update to Yakou Meite who went off with an injury late on after colliding with Birmingham keeper Neil Etheridge.

“It was a terrible collision, it didn’t look good. We will look to asses and hopefully it won’t be too bad. It was a body to body collision and he hit the ground with his head. The doctors need to assess him.”

The Royals boss also gave a latest update on John Swift’s recovery from injury.

“He has practiced with us. He needs to build his form and find his confidence and that will take a couple of weeks at least. He’s been out for a long time,” he continued.

“We have to look to our next game as always. We have to get results and prepare the guys in the best possible manner and recover and replenish.

“Our main thing is to learn to recover when we concede. We still have to say the same things at half time when we are down. We see disappointment and immature disappointment. You have to keep believing and playing good football and look to effect it in the final third.

“We always are aware and monitoring the fatigue of our players. This league is fantastic and exciting, but you know the players sometimes have to play with issues and small problems.

“You have to look for the right mix between freshness and issues they carry.”

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