READING need to ‘go through struggles’ as well as win together, boss Veljko Paunovic said after his side lost 1-0 at home to Sheffield United. 

It was a game of few chances for both sides as a Jayden Bogle strike in the second half split the teams. 

Here’s what the Royals coach had to say after the game. 

On chasing an equaliser but coming up short...

I think everyone, and I believe you would agree, everyone knew this was a game of one goal. Whoever scored first had more possibilities to win. Both teams were suffering from fatigue and everywhere around the league you can see it - a lot of 0-0s, not a lot of goals. It indicates that at this point in the season, an early midweek game affects both teams in terms of quality. 

We knew at half-time we had to be patient, first half we defended well with the ball, we didn’t create the right momentum but they didn’t threaten us - nor did we threaten them. Very flat game. Second half I think that we were good until the moment we conceded the goal and that was the key for everything. That changed the game, that lack of urgency we had, that one-second missing concentration and focus, not being capable of stepping up and having more urgency to defend that cross - it cost us points today. 

I think we fought back. Immediately Andy’s reaction, which also was unlucky because we were preparing that substitution at 0-0 but then at that moment we conceded a goal. We knew with him on the field the game would change and we also addressed that at half-time, that we would go and be more aggressive in the second half. 

But because of his fitness, it’s still too early for him to play more than 30/35 minutes. So that was a little bit unlucky, we lost that momentum and we conceded a goal. I think we did well in the couple of opportunities we created but the team needed more freshness to draw the game or eventually win the game.

On John Fleck’s scary collapse...

That experience we all had today was so dramatic and so horrible. I hope that John will return as soon as possible in good shape, to his normal life, and play football like he did before. 

Hopefully, he doesn’t have any consequences after this incident today. 

We send the best regards and support to him and his family and friends and we wish him a quick recovery and return to play.

On the lack of chances created...

I think it’s the fact - and you can look at both teams - six shots, eight shots on goal, it’s not what we’re used to. It’s 19 games now and teams like us who basically almost always play with the same group and you have to drain all the atoms of energy from your team unfortunately because of the injuries we’ve had. 

The good news is we’re recovering. Today we had Halilovic available, not for many minutes, but that was helpful. We also had Femi (Azeez) and (Dejan) Tetek back so those are positives for us. 

That’s the hope we’re looking at. Moving into the next round of games we are not going to have midweek games which for us really affects us - every midweek game affects our performance. 

I think now we will have the opportunity to build, bring back people. We also have to acknowledge that Andy Carroll just came ten days ago. 

What I’m trying to say is this team needs to play together, this team needs to be together, this team needs to win games together, this team needs to draw games together, this team needs to go through struggles and this team needs to have different options coming off the bench. 

This team needs to learn when Alen (Halilovic) comes off the bench and goes wide this is what we’re trying to do, we’re attacking with three striker or whatsoever. 

I think that cohesion will come with having the players available and the team playing together.

On the refereeing and the decision not to add more time at the end of extra time...

For me, the consistency is always the issue with officiating. We had other games where, perhaps Coventry, where we make a substitution and there’s extra time during the extra time, where they add time without us knowing, without letting us know. 

Then we concede a goal, it’s our fault obviously, but then I speak with the referees after the game and they said ‘we added because of that (the substitutions)’ I said ‘are you going to do that in every game?’ 

They said ‘yes’. Now today the referee says ‘no’. It has to be consistent and everyone has to know. This is what I addressed - small thing but it should be fixed.

On Andy Carroll's aerial threat

One of the things we have to learn to do is play with Andy, who has just ten days with us here. 

The week when we signed Andy, we had international players away. 

You have a midweek game, so where are you going to learn that other than in the game?

On Ovie Ejaria playing deeper

He is good at holding the ball and we need him to hold the ball. We know our team, we know where we are in the season. 

They will allow us to have possession and keep the ball. As well as that, we had fresh legs from Tom. 

We asked Tom to run behind, which he did a couple of times and once he did successfully.

We were looking for the properties of the player to achieve the desired objective. 

On benching Tom Holmes

Every decision is a difficult decision. We have a team of players that are all working hard and giving pretty good performances. 

If it wasn’t Tom today, it would be someone else. That’s it. I think I just explained what we wanted to do by adding Tom Dele-Bashiru because we wanted more players on the ball in midfield and attack. He didn’t play last game, so fresh legs. Hopefully when we have Femi, Alen, Tetek and others we’ll have more fresh legs and midweek games we approach differently because definitely I’m 100% sure our team when it’s a small group we can’t perform three games in a row on our best physical outfit.

On ten defeats so far this season...

Given the circumstances, I think it’s what it is. It’s a fact. Every game is a concern now to lose. You work towards the positives you have and achieving the next level of the team which varies throughout the season given that things out of our control happen. When that happens you have to readjust and readjust again and deal with all that stuff. It’s a constant work in progress in readjusting your objectives. We all know what happened in the last week so we have to readjust everyone’s mindset. the team showed in the last two games since our reality changed with the points deduction, I think the team showed huge commitment.

On conversations with the chief executive after the match

We spoke about the game, what we did well, what we did wrong, stuff like that. We always do that.