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Veljko Paunovic bemoans Reading’s ‘horrendous’ start at Brentford

Reading v Bristol City – Sky Bet Championship – Madejski Stadium
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Reading boss Veljko Paunovic blamed his side’s “horrendous” first half for the 3-1 collapse at the hands of promotion rivals Brentford.

Mathias Jensen and a Bryan Mbeumo brace gave the Bees a three-goal cushion before the break, while Sone Aluko’s header with his first touch was just a consolation.

“We were horrendous against a very good team who took advantage of the confusion,” admitted Paunovic.

“We were punished for the mistakes we committed and weren’t able to stop the bleeding until the second half.

“At half-time we fixed what we needed to fix and the second half was a completely different story.

“We started playing good football with spirit and the application was great. We won the second half but fell short with the result, but it was important when you are losing like that at half-time that you don’t break down.

“We lifted from our knees to our feet and created a lot of opportunities.

“If we had taken one of the opportunities, we still had lot of time on the clock and it would have been a very exciting game and I believe we would have fought back.”

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank said he would have sweet dreams about some of the goals his side scored in the M4 derby.

It was Mbeumo’s second in particular that would send the Dane off to sleep with a smile on his face: “It was so good to see his wonderful left foot pass into the net for the first, but it was the build up and finish for the second that I will think about when I put my head on my pillow tonight.

“We started like we did against Watford and within the first 30 minutes we had killed the game off, but I think Reading are a very good team with some fantastic players so that is an achievement.

“We had a right winger in Tariqe Fosu at right-back standing in for a Danish international, Charlie Goode back from illness standing in for a Swedish international and Mads Bech Sorensen.

“They were fantastic, throwing their bodies on the line. We wanted to go for the 4-0 goal and pressed higher and were flying straight after half-time, but then the game got scrappy.”