Eddie Howe devastated by Reading defeat

Eddie Howe
Eddie Howe

CLARETS boss Eddie Howe was devastated to lose to Reading with virtually the last kick of the game.

With a dour game set to end goal-less, the Royals snatched a win in the ninth minute of injury time through Jem Karacan, who had replaced Jay Tabb, who had earlier been knocked unconscious by a clearance from Lee Grant.

And Howe said: “It was a big blow for us. We never really got going, we looked a little flat for whatever reason, but we thought at 0-0, having not played well at home we would take the point. It was a real sickener to concede right at the death.

“For the majority of the game I thought we defended okay, but it was a poor goal from our point of view. But we have to look at our overall performance, and for long periods of the game we weren’t our usual selves.

“We’ll have to analyse why.

“It’s just a huge disappointment on the back of some really good form coming into the game.”

After going into the international break unbeaten in four, on the back of successive wins, the performance came as a surprise to Howe: “Massively. You think at home on the back of some good results the lads are going to be buzzing and confident.

“Both sides, probably would say that they looked a little flat and the game wasn’t a great spectacle.

“We never got our passing game going and it was a bitty game.

“We didn’t work the goalkeeper enough, we didn’t keep the ball well enough.

“I think all of our attacking play you could say was disappointing, so there’s a lot there to look at, to try to work out what went wrong.

“We’ve trained well, the lads have been great this week.

“I can’t put my finger on, now, why we just didn’t perform.

“It was a scrappy game. I thought both sides struggled for any rhythm and it wasn’t a great passing spectacle.

“From our point of view, we didn’t get enough crosses in the box and we certainly didn’t work the goalkeeper enough.”

Burnley get an early chance to bounce back at Barnsley on Tuesday night, and Howe would like to see his young side start to come out of their shell: “We have to move on quickly. We’ve got two away games coming up – two tough games in the league – and we’re going to have to perform better than that if we’re going to get anything.

“It’s not a criticism of anyone, but we are young team and we’re quite quiet on the pitch, so we do need to become as little bit more vocal.

“That just gets people organised and focused when the game is going on, so there’s a lot there to analyse, but we can’t look for excuses.

“We have to look at ourselves and say that we need to do better than that.

“We are at home and there are big expectations here to perform. But for whatever reason, we just didn’t do it.

“To be truly competitive you need to produce performances week in and week out, and we haven’t done that yet this season.

“We have played in fits and starts, so we still have a lot of work to do.”

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