McDermott “desperately disappointed” by Scunthorpe defeatBy Jonny Fordham
August 08, 2010
“Desperately disappointing” was how Reading manager Brian McDermott summed up defeat to Scunthorpe United on the opening day of the Championship season.
Many saw the test against last season’s strugglers as a home banker, but Nigel Adkins’ side upset the odds to come away with a well-deserved 2-1 win in Berkshire.
Royals were rocked by United’s opener in the eighth minute after dominating the early exchanges.
Gary Thompson’s close-range effort was flagged offside by the linesman, but referee Fred Graham spotted that Jonathan Forte’s passed clipped right-back Andy Griffin on the way through and awarded the goal.
McDermott’s men were naturally aggrieved by the decision, but fought hard to find a way back into the game after regaining their composure.
Last season’s top-scorer Gylfi Sigurdsson produced the magic spark as he lashed home a stunning arrowed shot from 25-yards into the top left of Joe Murphy’s net to equalise in the 25th minute.
But 14 minutes after the break Scunthorpe were back in the lead.
Rob Jones out-muscled centre-back Matt Mills to powerfully head past Adam Federici from five yards to seal an unexpected three points for the visitors.
Reading threw everything at United in the dying stages, but Murphy proved impassable between the posts.
Injuries to Shane Long (hip) and Matt Mills (ankle) as well as knocks picked up by Jobi McAnuff and Jem Karacan furthered compounded Royals’ woes after an impressive pre-season build-up.
And McDermott was naturally upset with the performance.
He said: “It’s desperately disappointing, it's a home game and we want to win every game here. We had enough chances but we were missing something.
"We weren't completely right, we didn't have the normal cutting edge, but that will come.
"We had opportunities to get shots on target but we weren't as clinical as we could have been and have come away with a poor result. Sometimes you have to feel the pain of defeat and we will certainly feel this pain.
"We've had a really good pre-season and these things can happen in the first couple of weeks of the season.
"I didn't think we got the ball out to our wide players enough and we could have got the full backs pushed on a bit more.
"A great goal from Gylfi got us right back into the game but we didn't step up in the way we normally do, especially at home. That's something we have to work at.
"The bottom line is that Scunthorpe came here and won.
"They are not a bad side, there's no poor sides in this division and anyone can beat anyone. You hear a lot of nonsense spoken about them, they've got a good manager, good players and are well organised.”
Having seen the replay of United’s opener, McDermott, who initially protested to the fourth official has admitted that it was the correct call to allow the goal to stand.
"The referee spotted that it hit one of ours players and has gone to one of theirs," he said.
"The linesman gave offside, the referee has seen it differently, so it was a goal. I've seen it again, it was a goal, he wasn't offside a good spot by the referee. Nine out of 10 times they are given offside.
"I think maybe at the time we felt there was an injustice, but you've got to deal with setbacks better than we did.”
The last time Reading lost at home on the opening day of the season was a 2-1 defeat to Plymouth Argyle five years ago.
That season, Royals went on to register a record 106 points haul and lift the Championship trophy on the way to the Premier League.
But that fact caused little sentiment for the 49-year-old boss.
He added: "It doesn't send me home with any cheer.
"The Scunthorpe manager will still have a nice weekend and I will still have a miserable one.
"It's important not to get too carried away with this, we wouldn't have been carried away with a win and so the same applies now. We have to learn from it, it's still early on and there are 45 games to go.
"The supporters will be desperately disappointed, they won't have a good night, and I certainly won't have a good night. You have to feel the pain sometimes."
Reading (4-2-3-1): Federic, Griffin, Mills (c), Pearce, Williams, Karacan (Church, 70), Gunnarsson (Tabb, 58), Sigurdsson, McAnuff (Antonio, 74), Kebe, Long. Subs not used: Hamer, Robson-Kanu, Howard, Rasiak.
Scunthorpe United (4-4-2) : Murphy, Nolan, Mirfin (Raynes, 53), Jones, McNulty, Wright, O'Connor (Wright, 89), Togwell, Thompson, Dagnall (Woolford, 73), Forte. Subs not used: Slocombe, Canavan, Collins, Grant.
Booked: Murphy 83, Thompson 90.
Referee: Fred Graham (Essex).