Captain's Verdict

Monday 29 October 2012 22:24

It shows how high our standards are when Captain Brede Hangeland is frustrated that the Team only lie seventh in the table after nine Barclays Premier League games.

The towering Norwegian could not hide his disappointment as Martin Jol's side watched two points slip away against Reading, after the Whites twice took the lead in the closing stages at the Madejski Stadium.

Hangeland spent Saturday embroiled in physical battles alongside defensive partner Aaron Hughes against the imposing figures of Jason Roberts and Pavel Pogrebnyak and, although neither of the Royals strikers found the net, they made their presence felt.

After Chris Baird and Dimitar Berbatov both scored what felt like potential winning goals, Reading substitutes Gareth McCleary and Hal Robson-Kanu fed off the scraps to ensure the spoils were shared.

A perfectionist at heart, Hangeland doesn't forget late goals quickly and insists there is potential in the team to improve, and kick on even further up the table.

"It's been an alright start but if you look at the goals we've lost towards the end of the games we can actually be a lot higher," said Hangeland.

"Man City at home, Southampton away and the Reading match, we could have nicked more points than we did. 

"That's disappointing but it's also a good sign. It's a sign we're not a bad team."

Hangeland's tone suggests that is an under-statement. The Whites are the division's third highest-scoring team behind leaders Chelsea and Manchester United, and have scored more goals than the Champions Manchester City so far.

As Hangeland eluded to, it's not just the quantity of goals that is impressive, but the quality. But if that that isn't enough to guarantee we collect three points, the Captain will not rest until the winning formula is nailed down.

"It was a class goal by Berbatov," he added.

"You see throughout the game he's just a really good player and we're disappointed that goal could not be the match winner.

"When you are twice in the lead after 80 minutes you'd like to win the game so we will have to work something out."