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McCann's Reading Reaction

4 December 2021

Grant McCann was pleased with the determination of his players to battle back from a goal down to secure a point at Reading.

Tom Holmes’ bicycle kick in first-half injury time was cancelled out by Mallik Wilks’ 55th-minute strike as the Tigers extended their unbeaten run to five matches.

“I thought first half we were excellent,” said McCann.

“Reading had a good chance with (John) Swift but apart from that, and the goal they scored on the stroke of half-time, we could have been out of sight with the chances and opportunities we had in the final third.

“I was disappointed with the goal and the timing of the goal we conceded. For me, (Josh) Magennis is half a yard away from the ball – he can’t do anything else, the ball has just hit his hand. It’s hit (Andy) Yiadom’s hand and they end up scoring off the resulting corner.

“Second half, I said to the boys, ‘Look, it’s the first time in five games we’ve been 1-0 down, can we show people what we’re about? Can we show that determination in the second half to get ourselves back in the game?’

“We did that with a great strike from Mallik. (Luke) Southwood is a really good goalkeeper but I think he just caught him off guard. Mallik’s hit it early and he couldn’t adjust his body.

“Again, like we have done over the past four or five games, we had to show that real grit and determination.

“Particularly away from home, when they’re raining balls in on top of Andy Carroll, and it is difficult because he’s strong in the air, but I thought we did that.”

McCann also praised the performance of goalkeeper Nathan Baxter, saying: “He made some good saves, particularly in the first half - that save from Swift after a mistake by us let him in.

“One-v-one situations, he’s really good and he showed his calmness today.”

McCann confirmed that Tom Eaves' absence from the matchday squad was due to an ankle injury picked up in training but is confident he will be back available for the Bristol City match.

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