Reading manager Paul Ince felt his side deserved better after starting the Championship season with a 1-0 defeat at Blackpool.

Ince saw his side beaten by Callum Connolly’s ninth-minute strike at Bloomfield Road.

But the Reading boss felt their performance showed the progress they have made over the summer

“I’m really disappointed because I thought we were excellent in the second half,” Ince said.

“I think anyone watching that game today – even Blackpool fans – would have said we deserved to get something out of the game, if not win it.

“It’s hard to take positives when you lose, but I’ve taken a lot of them.

“In the first half we were a little bit passive for the first few minutes, then we started to get into our stride.

“But we conceded a silly goal, making wrong decisions and we’re 1-0 down. On saying that, maybe we would have capitulated in that situation last year.

“We came on for the second half and it looked like only one team was going to win the game.”

Ince, who steered the Royals away from relegation after taking charge last season, handed out four debuts in a new-look team.

But, despite creating chances, most notably through Junior Hoilett, they could not find the equaliser.

“We’re talking about our team which is quite new, with a lot of young kids that have come in,” added Ince.

“(The Championship) is a different kettle of fish for some of these guys, but I said to them before the game they’ve just got to be competitive.

“I said we’re going to win games and lose games, but we’ve got to be competitive, not just for ourselves, but for the fans. And we were competitive.”

In contrast victorious Blackpool boss Michael Appleton was disappointed his team were not further ahead at the interval.

In the first game of his second spell at the club, the ex-Lincoln manager was pleased to see his team thrive in front of a noisy Bloomfield Road crowd.

“I asked the players if we could get off to a fast start,” said Appleton. “I knew the crowd would get right behind us, they were fantastic. The noise was incredible early doors.

“But the only disappointing thing was that we were only 1-0 up at half-time.

“The only threat I felt they gave us in the first was on that transition when we were sloppy and gave a couple of passes away.

“It’s important to get off to a fast start, not just in home games, but you want to pin the opposition in their own half.

“The first half we were great, but then they changed their shape and caused us a few issues.

“They made their experience tell in the second half – and it showed. I made our players aware of that.

“But I know as well as anyone that you need to win games to get momentum. You need to create confidence to play better and get better. And we’ve been good enough to do that today.”


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