Pards Didn't Want The Match Called Off

Last updated : 01 January 2003 By Rob Cooper
The Royals clash with second placed Leicester City at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon was abandoned at half time as the referee deemed that the pitch had become unplayable due to heavy water.

Reading had the better of the forty-five minutes that were pleased and could have had a half-time lead. Pardew believes that had his side scored a first-half opener then the game may well have never been called off.

"I'm very disappointed. They were difficult conditions and tough for the players, but I thought that we adapted better than they did and if we had scored a goal I don't think the referee would have made that decision," he said.

"We were playing really well and wanted to keep going, we were terrific in the conditions."

Whilst the PA system at the ground announced that both manager's had agreed to bring the game to a premature end, Royals boss Alan Pardew insists that the referee made that decision on his own.

Recalling the series of events he said: "I went to the ref as soon as the half ended because it was obviously a difficult one for him as I wanted to see what his mindset was. He told me that he wanted to play for the first ten of fifteen minutes of the second half and we'll see from there, and I was happy with that.

Mark Warren
Alan Pardew was disappointed with Mr Warren's decision to abandon the game
"I went into our dressing room to address the players, and he knocked back on the door and asked to speak to me, and said that he'd changed his mind and decided that it would be better for everyone to call the game off at half time.

"It was a tough decision for him but I've got to tell you that I wasn't happy with it, and the fans who have travelled miles to get here won't be happy either.

"It's a nice gesture from the club to reduce prices by 50% for the rearranged game, but it's still 50% the fans will have to cough up."

Pardew's side will now dry themselves off for their FA Cup Third Round clash away at Walsall on Saturday afternoon.