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Harris takes positives but bemoans finishing in Reading defeat

The manager's take on Carabao Cup exit...

23 August 2017

Neil Harris praised an "outstanding" second-half in Tuesday night's 3-1 after extra time Carabao Cup Second Round defeat to Reading at the Madejski Stadium, but was disappointed at The Lions' finishing in front of goal.

Shane Ferguson quickly levelled Leandro Bacuna's opening goal shortly after the half-hour mark, but strikes from George Evans and Sam Smith in extra-time secured The Royals' passage into Round Three.

Harris explained that the third - and killer - goal was a result of his side trying to get back into the game and force a penalty shoot-out.

"With the third goal, we've gone to three at the back and three up front to try and score - that's always going to leave space for the opposition to exploit," he said. "That's Cup football. I've no complaints with that."

Despite that, the manager welcomed his team's second-half performance, but stated they could have been more clincial.

"I was delighted with the team's effort. I thought some players looked a little bit rusty at times, but some of them haven't played a lot of football lately. I made ten changes to freshen things up and it took us 30-35 minutes to get a foothold in the game - Reading dominated possession up to that point - but when Shane Ferguson scored, it changed the complexion of the second-half.

"We adjusted at half-time and got some messages across to the players. The second-half was then outstanding. We played a lot more on the front foot and agressive with the ball and without the ball, to win the ball back. We also showed a lot of patience to draw Reading out and hit them on the counter-attack.

"We should have used the ball better, though. I will also bemoan my players for their finishing - it should have been better."


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