Jewell focusing on the positives following 1-0 defeat at Reading

IPSWICH Town manager Paul Jewell may have been disappointed with the way Reading scored their winner – but he says his side can take plenty of positives from their 1-0 loss at the Madejski Stadium.

The Blues outplayed the division’s most in-form side in the first half, combining a disciplined defensive display with a creativity in attack.

It was Reading who win it in the second half though when centre-back Alex Pearce headed home from a free-kick – his second goal in as many games against the Blues.

“Certainly, on our first half performance, we should have got something out of the game,” said Jewell.

“We’ve peppered their goal in the first half, but we just couldn’t get that elusive goal.

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“The second half was a bit more scrappy and it looked like one goal was always going to decide it.

“I’ve emphasised the importance of set-plays, but the same lad (Alex Pearce) has scored again today.

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“We’re disappointed because we’ve shown a lack of concentration. Coming away to a team that is in form, the first goal was always going to be vital.

“The bottom line is we have lost the game 1-0, but there wasn’t a lot between the two teams. I thought the players put in a lot of effort and a good shift.

“There are a few encouraging signs.”

Reading’s winner came from a free-kick awarded for handball against Lee Bowyer, with Jewell believing that the vocal home crowd played their part.

“They do say they’re the 13th man here and they were certainly shouting for handball every time,” said Jewell.

“I couldn’t see from my vantage, but I certainly know it wasn’t intentional that’s for sure.”

Reading have now won four games in a row, keeping a clean sheet in all of those matches, to climb to fifth in the table.

“It wasn’t vintage Reading with the ball and getting crosses into the box; but attitude, desire and will to win – we had all of that today.

“First half we didn’t play well, we know that, but what we have got is real heart in that dressing room.

“We showed that today by digging in, keeping a clean sheet and winning it with a set-play.

“It was a terrific performance for those reasons.”

Commenting on the award of the free-kick which led to his side’s winner, McDermott added: “He (the refree) didn’t see too many handballs did he? There were a few out there.

“They (the officials) missed a few things, but there you go.”

– For full match report and reaction, see Monday’s EADT and Evening Star.

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