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Veljko Paunovic praises Reading players for getting payback against Coventry

Reading v Norwich City – Sky Bet Championship – Madejski Stadium
(Image credit: Steve Parsons)

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic praised his side for inflicting “payback” on Coventry after their comfortable 3-0 Championship victory at Madejski Stadium.

It was Coventry who ended Reading’s unbeaten eight-match start to the season, with a 3-2 win at St Andrew’s, back in October.

Lucas Joao gave Reading an early lead with his 17th goal of the season, with Andy Rinomhota and John Swift adding further efforts in the second half.

Coventry had centre back Kyle McFadzean sent off – for his second yellow card in 11 minutes – after the foul that led to Swift’s goal direct from a free-kick.

“We spoke about this as payback month for us and it has started well with this game being the first one,” Paunovic said.

“Especially as it was Coventry who were the ones who ended our winning and successful streak that we had at the beginning of the season – that ended our honeymoon.

“So, yes, I’m very happy with this. But I’m more happy because of the way we played and the way that we executed. That was brilliant today.

“Huge credit to the team, huge credit to the players, for the efforts that they put in. It was a very good performance.

“I wasn’t entirely happy how we started the game. We conceded some unforced mistakes and gave Coventry some opportunities. That could have cost us much more.

“Fortunately, we had Rafael in goal. He did a fantastic job and he had some good moments to save those opportunities. And he also projected his confidence to the team.

“The reaction was our first goal. Great play, a great pass, from Swift to Joao. And he produced his usual way of scoring goals. We got where we wanted to be. We had the lead, which was very important to us.”

Coventry have won only one of their past six league games.

“First of all, we played against a very good team,” Coventry manager Mark Robins said.

“But you can’t give them the goals that we gave them. All three of them, we’ve given them away. That’s something that we’ve got to stop now.

“Obviously, losing McFadzean didn’t help. But we kept giving Reading opportunities. We also had chances ourselves but we didn’t take them. And we can’t really let that happen again over the second half of the season.

“We keep saying the same things but we’ve just got to be more clinical. When you’re playing against better opposition, we have got to be better ourselves. That’s where we’re at.

“As frustrating as that is for everybody, that is the case. We’ve just got to keep working towards getting better results. This league is unforgiving and we could end up taking a defeat like this on some occasions.”