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Frustrated Reading boss Veljko Paunovic wants to see VAR in Championship

Veljko Paunovic file photo
(Image credit: Bradley Collyer)

Reading manager Veljko Paunovic called for the introduction of VAR in the Championship after a 1-1 home draw with Hull.

Centre-back Tom Holmes gave Reading a 1-0 half-time lead with a spectacular overhead kick in stoppage time – his first goal for the club.

But Hull levelled 10 minutes after the interval when home keeper Luke Southwood allowed a long-range effort from Mallik Wilks to squirm under his body.

Reading felt they should have been awarded a late penalty when Di’Shon Bernard appeared to handle the ball under an aerial challenge from Andy Carroll but referee Steve Martin waved away their appeals.

Paunovic said: “I just don’t understand. I don’t usually like to talk about officiating but these kind of decisions cost us a place in the play-offs last season.

“Today it cost us two points. That’s difficult to cope with.

“We feel something is wrong about how we’re treated at Reading. It’s a culmination, it’s difficult to live with.

“VAR would help this situation, definitely. I think there are versions of VAR in discussion, a sort of VAR Lite.

“This would reduce the costs and time of reviewing.

“Yes, I would like to see VAR in the Championship. When you do well, you need to have at least have the benefit of review.

“In this incident, the ball is directed towards our player [Carroll]. On the path of the ball, the hand [Bernard’s] is intercepting the pass. The hand is not in a natural position.”

Of the draw, Paunovic added: “I was very happy with the team and the performance and the spirit, especially in the second half.

“We had a very good attacking mindset and it was maybe our best attacking performance so far this season. Even after we conceded their goal, we kept pushing.

“Now we just have to refocus on the controllables, that’s our life.”

Hull’s run of four successive wins came to an end at the SCL Stadium.

Head coach Grant McCann said: “I thought we were excellent in the first half.

“Reading had a couple of good chances but, apart from those and the goal, we could have been almost out of sight with all our opportunities.

“I was disappointed with their goal and the timing of it but, in the second half, I said to the boys ‘Can we show people what we are all about and could we show that determination in the second half to get ourselves back in the game?’ – we did that. It was a great strike from Mallik.

“Then, as we have done over the last four or five games, we had to show all that grit again.

“Particularly away from home, when they were raining in the high balls and free-kicks to Andy Carroll. He’s so strong in the air.

“With Mallik’s goal, he hit it early and I think he just caught the keeper off guard.

“Southwood’s a really good keeper but, because it was hit so early, he probably couldn’t adjust his body.”

Of the late penalty incident, McCann said: “I could possibly see why the referee could have given something like that.

“In football, you get some and you don’t get some. That’s what happened today.”

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