Reaction: Blues 1 Reading 3

Pep Clotet.
Pep Clotet.

“Scott had a good chance and Juke had a good chance and obviously there was the penalty as well.

Pep Clotet.

Pep Clotet’s comments following his side’s defeat to The Royals at the St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.

Pep Clotet asked if he felt hard done by with some of the refereeing decisions that went against his side…
“When it comes to the decisions it's unbelievable that we keep talking about this every game. Jude Bellingham should have received a penalty. I saw it clearly from where I was. If I had been where the referee was, I would have seen it even more clearly. If I had been where the linesman was, I would have seen it even more clearly. It's the same every week. I'm just done talking about it. The numbers speak for themselves.”

Pep Clotet on how the complexion of the game would have been completely different if Blues had scored a second goal from one of the chances they had…
“Absolutely. It's a tough game to take. First of all, we’re coming from a very good run of results and the team have looked very strong. The team started very strongly at the beginning of the game and created chances and possibly we should have made it 2-0. In the second-half we had five minutes where we should have defended better, and Reading were very clinical in those moments. After that, Birmingham went for the game and it's very tough and when you get clear penalties and they are not awarded then the game becomes very difficult. The third goal wouldn't have happened if we'd been at 2-2. Unfortunately, our good run in the league ends here. I'm proud of the effort of the players in managing to get to this point with such a thin squad. I think today we paid a little bit of a price of too many games in a short space of time. When that fatigue kicks in a little bit the first thing that gets affected is the focus and technical ability gets a little bit affected. I have nothing bad to say because in the end the squad has been superb, and they will keep doing it for the nine games we have left. It's a pity today because if we had won, we would have been looking at maybe something really nice to play for. We would have seen ourselves with 50 points, but that doesn't give our motivation away we want to fight the next nine games and try to win as many as possible and try to get as many points as possible and have a good rest after this weekend and get at it again.”

Pep Clotet on the importance of his side pressing home their advantage when they take the lead…
“The Championship is a little bit like this. We are a team that I think defend very well. We showed that at Leicester as well. But of course, the Championship is very unpredictable. In my mind in the Championship when you score one goal especially in the first-half I always tend to think that goal doesn't count no matter who scores because if you don't get a second goal in the first-half it doesn't really change the game much. It's how the league works and happens to everyone. It happened against QPR, but we managed to get back into it. The important thing is we are a team that managed to start games strongly and get leads in the beginning and of course we need to keep working to try to extend our leads and never just think about keeping our lead especially when you score early in a game. We will keep working and keep improving and keep going.”

Pep Clotet on the amount of other opportunities to score that his team had…
“Scott (Hogan) had a good chance and Juke had a good chance and obviously there was the penalty as well. That's a good side of it that we create those chances and dominate most attacks in the first-half. We had a lot of dangerous attacks in the first-half and it's just a pity our lead wasn't bigger, but I don't want to be harsh on the players because we know what they've been through. That said it's important to rest, regroup and fight again.”