RUSSELL: WE NEED A BIG RESPONSE
Gaffer demands players to face criticism and unite
Russell Slade spoke to Press & Media in the aftermath of City’s 2-1 defeat at the hands of Reading on Saturday.
The Bluebirds started well, Kenwyne Jones heading his side in front from a Peter Whittingham corner inside twenty-five minutes to cap a comfortable first half.
However, Reading raised their game after the break to produce a spirited comeback - firstly through Oliver Norwood’s twenty-yard free kick. Welshman Hal Robson-Kanu then fired the Royals into the lead – and the next round – with two minutes left to play.
“There was not much in it in the first period,” Russell reflected. “But in the second half, there was only one team that looked like they would push on if I am honest – I was really disappointed with the second half performance overall.
“I thought they put us on the back foot in the first fifteen minutes of the second period and we found it difficult to string two passes together under that pressure. In the end it resulted in a free kick – which was avoidable – and we should have defended it better. We didn’t and it allowed Reading back into the game, giving them the lift they required.
“We had a very honest and frank conversation after the game. It was not one thing but an accumulation of defensive errors.
“There will be ups and downs in terms of trying to make that progress. It’s important for us to unite as a group, be strong and face the criticism. We need to respond.”
The performance of City’s forward pairing of Kenwyne Jones and Alex Revell, however, pleased the Manager on an otherwise disappointing afternoon. He said: “Today we wanted to have a look at a Revell and Jones’ partnership.
“They are both very strong in the air and I thought they were okay in the first period. Revell ran his legs off and Kenwyne is the kind of player you cannot take out – he is our best and leading goal scorer.
“They are the kind of players you want in the group, playing week-in, week-out. Kenwyne gave us a platform to build on today but unfortunately we didn’t take advantage of it.”