Monday, March 4, 2024

‘Millwall do the basics right’ – Reading boss Ince on defeat to Championship play-off chasers

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Reading manager Paul Ince praised Millwall’s defensive resilience as they ground out a 1-0 win in Berkshire this afternoon.

Andreas Voglsammer’s 11th-minute penalty sealed the three points for the Lions as they moved back into the Championship play-offs.

A poor pass by former Charlton defender Naby Sarr was punished by Millwall. Tom Bradshaw’s pass sent Zian Flemming through on goal with Royals stopper Joe Lumley bringing the Dutch attacker down right on the edge of the box.

“One mistake,” said Ince, when asked what went wrong. “That’s the bottom line. It was always going to be a scruffy game because that is what Millwall make it.

“I said to the players that the last thing you want to do is give a team like Millwall a goal because all they do is defend for their lives. That’s exactly the way the game went. We lose the ball, we’re in an uncomfortable position – don’t do enough – and give a penalty away. That’s why we lost the game. There was nothing else about it.

“It was a horrible game – they make it that way – and the ref doesn’t help. Non-stop stop-starting it.

“We didn’t have a shot on target, which is not like us at home. Second half we were in the ascendency and looked like the only team that was going to score. We’re just not getting the rub of the green, not gambling enough in the box or the quality of the cross is not good enough.

“It was a game I expected. It was never going to be a classic.

“I told the players: ‘They aren’t any better than you, that’s for sure. And they are fifth in the league because they do the basics right – they get the goal, like they did a couple of weeks ago when they had one shot on target at Stoke, and then they defend for their lives. And they defend for their lives very well’.

“We made a mistake against Sheffield United on the Tuesday and then another one today. It’s not like they cut us open. Every time we make a mistake we seem to get punished. We’ve played two teams in the top six who have not been better than us, far from it, and we haven’t come away with anything from the games. That’s disappointing.

“They do the basics right for a longer period of time. That’s what happens when you have good players, that they do it week in and week out. We don’t, we seem to have these little slips where we do stupid things and we get punished for them.”


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