Slaviša Jokanović was “disappointed but proud” after Fulham’s season ended at the Semi-Final stage of the Play-Offs.
Yann Kermorgant’s penalty proved the difference as Reading secured a 2-1 aggregate win, but the hosts didn’t really offer much at the Madejski Stadium.
Asked if the better team lost on Tuesday night, Jokanović replied: “Yes. You watched the game, we played better football. It’s true we were the best team, but we’re not going to play the Final.”
There was controversy in that the penalty conceded came after Tomas Kalas was pushed by Kermorgant, and Fulham then should have had a spot-kick of their own when Lucas Piazon was wrestled to the ground.
“Reading scored two goals, both after a complicated decision,” he explained. “There was a push [on Piazon] in the box that should be a penalty, but the referee didn’t show consistency, didn’t show the same criteria in the opposite box.
“But this is the best English referee, an international referee. I cannot complain but we are really disappointed as we lost the chance to play in the Final because of this decision.
“We created many chances but we weren’t clinical enough tonight. Normally we would be disappointed, but from another side I am proud of my team, how they played all season.
“In the end we lost tonight, but I can be proud of how my team fought, how my team played against Reading. We dominated them, we took risks, we created many things, but at the end we didn’t score the goal, and I wish them all the best at Wembley.”
Attentions now turn to next season, and Jokanović expects to keep his key players at Fulham to aid the 2017/18 promotion push.
“I expect our best players are going to stay with us,” he said. “This is information I have from the board.
“Next season will be complicated, like every Championship season, but we are going to push to be a promoted team.”