Pardew: We Face A Tough Season

By Rob Cooper
Last updated : 17 August 2002
Alan Pardew
Reading boss Alan Pardew
Alan Pardew warned the fans that there are some tough matches ahead after his side crashed to a 2-1 defeat at home to Coventry.

Reading have now lost two of their opening three games and face a daunting trip to hotly-tipped Leicester next weekend.

Following the game the Royals boss told readingfc.co.uk: "Our fans have seen what we're up against in the two home games, it ain't easy and we're under no illusions about that.

"Some of our players gave a good account of themselves today, we can be proud of that but it's all about results and we need to be winning enough games to be comfortable. We find ourselves mid table (15th) after three games but now we must go to Leicester."

However, Pards praised his team for the effort that they put in - failing to pick up on their at times poor play.

The Royals put in what has to be considered an average performance, for periods of the game the team were playing well below their best.

The widely-criticised manager defended his decision to bring off Jamie Cureton and replace him with Nicky Forster who was well below full fitness following his recent illness.

He added: "We competed with them quite well. A second goal would have been important to us, we had two or three decent chances but didn't take them and that ended up costing us.

"I wouldn't say we dominated the game, we were on an even keel, I felt that we passed the ball well."

The Sky Blues hit the woodwork twice in the first half and had many chances in the second with forward Lee Hughes looking particuarly impressive. But it was former Arsenal player Jay Bothroyd, who came on as sub, who got the winner for the visitors.

According to Pards the introduction of the large centre-forward changed the game. "He came on and caused us a different problem, it swayed the game in their favour. He had a point to prove after being left out of the starting line-up."

There was praise to for Reading goalscorer Jamie Cureton - but that did not stop Pardew from bringing him off in the second half - he was replaced by Nicky Forster who lacked match fitness after a spell on the sidelines.

"Jamie can be proud of his display again today, it was in the midfield that we got our collar felt, we have got to be stronger in that area.

"Forster's pace is a real asset to us, ovbiously he'll be a key figure for us this year.

"The two centre-halfs did OK today, they had a lot of pressure on them but both performed very well."

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