Reading 2 Burnley 2: Nigel Adkins promises Reading will bounce back next season after later play-off heartbreak

Reading saw their top-six aspirations crumble in the final stages of the regular Championship season after a late Brighton goal meant the Seagulls beat Adkin's side to the play-offs

Reading manager Nigel Adkins has vowed that his team will bounce back next season after the last-gasp disappointment of missing out on the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.

Although Reading lay in sixth place at the start of the day, Brighton overtook them by winning 2-1 away to Nottingham Forest, meaning the Royals' 2-2 draw at home to promoted Burnley was not enough to keep them in the play-off places.

However, Adkins feels his side will learn the lessons from their heartache.

"It's important you feel the pain and the hurt because that's what makes you work even harder," he said. "You need to have a negative experience to make you stronger.

"We can't change anything now, we've given it a good go, and the future is still very bright at this club. We'll take a couple of days to chill out and then reflect on it.

"This was effectively a play-off game and we started brightly. We changed shape in the second half and got a good stranglehold on the game.

"We were well aware what was happening at Nottingham. There were a lot of oohs and aahs going on. We were going for everything. We couldn't have done much more."

Needing to win against Burnley to definitely rubberstamp their place in the play-offs, Reading were rewarded in the 16th minute when they went ahead, albeit it with a large slice of good fortune.

Jobi McAnuff broke clear, after being released by a pass from Adam Le Fondre, and his low cross to the near post was turned into his own net by Kieran Trippier.

But Burnley, with only five defeats this season, were quick to respond, scoring twice in the space of eight minutes to take a 2-1 half-time lead.

Scott Arfield grabbed the leveller in the 20th minute and, with the Reading rearguard still in disarray, Burnley forged ahead when Danny Ings thundered in his 26th goal of the season from close range.

Ings was denied another soon after by a fine save from home keeper Alex McCarthy, but Reading grew steadily more dominant in the second half and equalised through a stunnign volley from Garath McCleary.

Try as they did, though, Reading could not add to it and were left at the mercy of Brighton's late winner at the City Ground.

Burnley captain Jason Shackell hacked a goalbound shot from Pavel Pogrebnyak off the goal-line and keeper Tom Heaton made fine saves from McCleary, Alex Pearce and Sean Morrison as Reading's luck finally ran out.

"That was just about a fair result," Burnley manager Sean Dyche said.

"Reading obviously had to go for it but we defended very well. After the own goal, I thought that we were good value.

"I was very happy with the team and individual performances. There were so many good things today, good habits and good displays. I'm proud of all the players and all the staff.

"We had to focus on just ourselves. That's the marvel of the last day of the season, with all its twists and turns. But Reading will come back. They're a good club."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project