"It was hard to take for the players who worked so hard, especially being 3-1 up at Stamford Bridge and then them coming back and then coming here and beating us - it was a tough one," reflected JJ of our FA Cup departure. "Maybe it is a blessing that the international break came when it did because it can be hard to get over those cup defeats. But lads have gone away on duty and I’m sure when they come back they'll be ready for the Premiership challenge again.
"We put ourselves in a good position but knew it was going to be tough against Chelsea. It was two exceptional goals that they scored against us but apart from that they didn’t really offer too much at all. So the lads can be proud of themselves and know that in the future we can get ourselves in that position."
JJ added that, with the recent workload, this was probably one of the better timed national service slots in that it gave a couple of our number the chance to rest up a little.
"Probably yes. A few of the lads - Daws comes to mind - has played every game and is involved day in, day out. It is a good time for him to put his feet up for a week and then have a good week training to get ready for the league campaign. So it is well timed.
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Jermaine Jenas believes the international break has been a timely one in allowing the players to shake off the disappointment of defeat to Chelsea last time out.The midfielder is one of the few who reported in to training last week and this due to him not being involved with the England squad, offering welcome time to prepare for the visit of Reading to the Lane on Sunday.