In a decisive match, Reading faced Preston today to close the gap with Norwich, but did not get a better result than a 0-0 draw.
Today in the 26th round of the Championship, Reading had a chance to beat Preston and move up to second place in the table, but with a penalty missed by Lucas Joao, the opportunity was ruined.
Veljko Paunovic feels that Joao was not in a good mood and this affected his performance.
With Lucas, when he scores and when he misses we give him support
," said manager Paunovic.
"We gave him support in the changing room. It happens in football, but it is also true that maybe he contributed to himself and his mood when he took the penalty.
"Very early in the game he was disappointed because of the way that things were developing on the field.
"I think we did a lot and had our opportunity and we weren't lucky enough to convert and get the whole three points.
"We're disappointed and frustrated but I always use these disappointments to channel it into the next game and next opponent in a positive way.
"The team played very well in the second half and created a lot of opportunities against a team that is not easy to play at this stadium.
"The conditions weren't great but I think we put up a very solid performance, but this draw feels like a loss."
Preston, on the other hand, are 11th and have no chance of advancing to the Premier League. This was Preston's third draw of the season.
We started the game extremely well for the first 15 to 20 minutes and they looked their most dangerous from set-plays and free-kicks,
" said manager Alex Neil.
"I thought defensively we were really strong. I can't think of too many opportunities they had throughout the match.
"I think the penalty is a tough one. It was one of those ones where the initial contact comes from Joao but probably not enough to be a free-kick to us. I think the more the move develops then it looks more and more like a penalty to them.
"But I'm not quite sure as a defender how you get out of the way of a 6'3 centre forward who has got a grip of you with both hands.
"Going forward we lacked a little bit of cutting edge and it certainly wasn't because we didn't commit enough men forward. We just really didn't have enough quality and guile to damage."