Darren Moore expressed surprise that Reading fielded a weakened team against West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.
The teams drew 1-1 at The Hawthorns, will replay in Reading on January 17, and will surely produce a better match than this.
But Moore, the Albion defender, is more concerned at a performance that did not match their Premiership status. The below-strength Reading team looked as accomplished as the full-strength Albion team.
"Yes, I am surprised that Reading played a weakened team," Moore said.
"But we were in a similar position to them three years ago when we were coming up and we'd been on a tremendous run and because of the run they've had, the momentum will run right through the club.
"Effectively, they rested one or two players but such is their confidence, they felt the players they brought in wouldn't let the side down.
"We are still in the FA Cup and in the replay we certainly have to play a lot better if we are to progress."
Zoltan Gera, making his first home appearance for more than three months, appeared to have booked Albion's place in the fourth-round draw by converting an 81st-minute penalty.
But Kevin Doyle's 12th goal of the season, also from a penalty, clawed Reading just three minutes later.
"It came down to the last five minutes and a penalty at both ends," Moore said. "We can't complain. I think they were both penalties. Reading seem to be on a crest of a wave. We didn't play well but we should have been professional enough to have seen the game out after going ahead.
"We take the FA Cup very seriously. We wanted to progress and go as far as we can in the competition. We took the Carling Cup very seriously.
"As a pro, you will probably get 10-12 chances of progressing in the FA Cup. Who knows what ties you will get? All your ties could be played at home. We take it very seriously. It is a wonderful competition.
"Reading are good. They are well clear. The league don't lie. They've got a game plan, are sticking to it and it's working. Barring a terrible crash, it looks they will be in the Premier League next season."
Moore, whose first-team opportunities have been limited this season, but who performed well in place of Neil Clement on Saturday, continues to be the subject of transfer speculation.
"On a personal level it was nice to get back out there and have 90 minutes. All I've done is train hard and work hard so if opportunities like this do come, I can step into the side and do my job.
"There has been a lot of transfer speculation surrounding me. I love West Brom. Everyone knows that. I've still got 18 months left on my contract here with possibly a year's option.
"My main aim here is to help West Brom stay in the Premier League for a second season. I'm not even looking away from the club. I'm fully 100 per cent committed with the rest of the guys here."
"I want to stay at the club and to continue to try and force my way into the team. I've training hard, trying hard to push Neil Clement and Curtis Davies for a place.
Clement will miss Albion's match against Wigan Athletic next week after undergoing an operation on the fractured cheekbone he suffered in the 2-1 derby defeat to Aston Villa last week.
"Clem should be available in around a fortnight's time," Nigel Pearson, Albion's assistant manager, said. "He fractured a cheekbone but it was a fairly straight forward operation.
"I thought our two centrehalves, Darren Moore and Curtis Davis, didn't do too badly and Ronnie Wallwork kept things ticking over." ..SUPL: