The Wokingham Paper

REACTION: Scott Marshall on defeat, stepping up to be caretaker boss and the search for a new manager

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Scott Marshall took charge of Reading

Scott Marshall says he is “well up for the fight” of being the temporary first team manager at Reading.

Under-23s boss Marshall stepped up into the top job on Thursday following the departure of Paul Clement, but could not prevent a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield United at Madejski Stadium.

RATINGS: Rinomhota impresses again but strikers fail to deliver

The deadlock was not broken until the 83rd minute when Billy Sharp netted before a Sam Baldock own goal quickly followed to seal victory.

On the game…

Obviously disappointed and it’s a sore one when you concede late on in a game. I thought we struggled a little bit to cope with a little change they made at half-time. They put a lot more pressure on us and were a lot more in our face in the second half. Disappointing to concede in the manner that we did.

On not creating many chances…

I thought there were opportunities to pass and play and link up a little bit. We’d definitely had liked to work their goalkeeper a lot more. I thought there were chances that we didn’t capitalise on early in the game.

Sam Baldock scored a late own goal

On if there are any positives to take…

Just straight after the game it was good to be around the group and look into their eyes a little bit and maybe set a little bit of a challenge to them. I thought they looked quite positive with that. There were some encouraging signs there. I’m looking forward to the next few days.

On the last few days…

We’re all disappointed that things haven’t worked out for Paul and the change has been made. I think emotionally it’s quite a challenge, certainly personally from my point of view and also from the group’s point of view as well. We’ve just got to manage that altogether and battle on through. For however long it is, if it’s one day, one hour, whatever it is we’ll battle on with it. The main thing is we want to generate a bit of spirit and togetherness and a bit of a will to see things through a little bit more.

On the search for a new manager…

I’m planning for training next week. I’m sure there will be a lot of interested people in the job. It’s a great club in a great situation in terms of a good playing staff so I’m sure there will be plenty of interest.

On what is needed to give the club a lift…

A couple of wins can turn things quite quickly and certainly in the next few days that’s what we’ll be thinking about. We’ve got Rotherham next week so we’ll do some focussing and planning on that.

On if he would like the job himself…

I’ve been asked to step up so I’m going to give it my full effort to try and help the lads perform. We will all stick together and do what’s needed at this particular moment in time.

On his work with the Under-23s…

I’ve really enjoyed working with the U23s. We’ve got some good players coming through which is really encouraging. There’s a good future there. I think Andy (Rinomhota) and Danny (Loader) have come in and done well. They want to come into a winning team as well and I think they’re finding now that that’s the sharp end. That’s the final little bit of learning for them. We’re here to support them all the way through that’s for sure.

On if he feels he’s earned a chance at a first team job…

I don’t think there’s many things that prepare you for being a first team manager. I’ve had a good stint in football. I try to make the most of every situation and this situation right now is certainly a challenging one but I’m well up for the fight myself. It was quite pleasing to look around the dressing room and see one or two guys ready to grit their teeth.

On how much of an influence he had over the team selection…

We discussed it, Nigel and Gilkesy and myself and Beas and we came up with a bit of a gameplan we thought could hurt them. I thought there were some signs that that could work and maybe with a little bit of luck early doors and a little bit of confidence and a little bit of success early doors we could’ve kicked on a little bit from that. It’s early doors for me certainly to get to know the group.

On the first half penalty shouts…

I’ve not seen them to be honest. If they looked like them then I’ll take it as a positive.

On the injury latest…

They were around the group in the dressing room beforehand which was good. They’re big personalities as well that are not playing at the moment. That was good to see them around the group behind positive. Jon Dadi (Bodvarsson) is making some progress, starting to join back in. We’ve got to be careful with that one as well.

On Yakou Meite missing out…

He’s been nursed through over the last few weeks. It’s certainly not 100% so we’re trying to give it a bit of a chance so that we can get more minutes. It might be a case of we’ve got to take a little bit of pain with him at the moment in terms of letting him recover and making sure he’s right to get the most football throughout the season.

I think it was touch and go this weekend. We’ll see how he is on Monday and how things are going with him. He’s been carrying it a while. He’s a big honest guy and wants to be involved as much as he can. Sometimes we’ve maybe got to hold him back. You’ve got to look after them a bit. That’s how it was tonight and we thought for the good of Yak and the good of the group. It was a decision that we made.

On if the team tired in the second half…

Yeah I thought so. I thought we tired a little bit. There’s a lot of emotional stuff going on as well so that can be tiring as well. I’ve not seen any stats yet like distance covered so I’m not 100% across it. But conceding two late goals, it’s quite an easy thing to say that. I think maybe there was a tactical thing in there as well which caused us a little bit of a problem and kept the pressure on us a little bit more. I wouldn’t jump to say it’s a fitness thing straightaway.

On if the changes off the field this week have impacted the players…

You need to ask them. It’s not an easy period but they’re professional guys, we all are. It’s not easy for all of us. There’s only one way to meet that and that’s head on and try and get things right. I don’t think it will be too much of a challenge. We’ve got some good players.

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