MATCH REPORT: 2007/2008 Season

3 November 2007: FA PREMIER LEAGUE
Reading: Doyle (54 mins).
Fulham: Davies (18 mins), Dempsey (72 mins), Healy (90 mins).
Half Time: 1-0
Attendance: 22,086

Pos Team P Pts GD
11 West Ham 10 14 +3
12 READING 12 13 -11
13 Fulham 12 12 -2
Reading: Hahnemann, Murty (Long 87), Duberry, Sonko, Shorey, Gunnarsson, Harper, Hunt, Lita (Convey 76), Kitson, Doyle. Subs Not Used: Federici, Ingimarsson, Rosenior.
Fulham: Niemi, Stefanovic, Omozusi, Ashton, Hughes, Davies, Murphy, Davis, Bouazza (Kuqi 60), Dempsey, Kamara (Healy 67). Subs Not Used: Warner, Ki-Hyeon, Leijer.
Reading: -.
Fulham: Stefanovic, Omozusi, Healy. Sent Off: Omozusi (90 mins).
Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Oh dear! After last week against Newcastle back to this. Ok maybe we could have got a point, maybe we were unlucky but this was in my view definitely a three pointer for the taking and at one all that's where I thought it was going. I felt for all three Fulham goals we didn't do enough in their build up to press the ball and put them under pressure. Given time and space any Prem player will look good. So defensively we could have done better but that doesn't just start with the defence. Up top, the route one approach of flick on's around the corner looks good when they connect but when they don't we just give away possession. So what needs fixing? Midfield in a nutshell. We don't have much of an alternative to route one attacking wise and in terms of pressing the opposition in midfield we didn't do enough of that either. So I don't see Kits laying the ball back to build from there, I don't see the ball played through midfield but if we accept that's because we have limited attacking capability in that department, why do we concede three goals?
We're not seeing the Brynar of last season when he was pressing Sidwell for a start and I'm just not sure we know where Harper's best position is - my view is in the hole where his ball control and quick feet would do more damage. Also and probably harsh but could Marcus have done more on goals 2 and 3?
But all in all points thrown away today and we can't afford that.
Nick Tilehurst

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...Steve Coppell, who had kept faith with the same side who had beaten Newcastle last weekend. After that win, the Reading manager had said that their performance was more like their energy of last season and it was like seeing an old friend. This must have been like watching a familiar foe come into view, as Reading laboured like a team who have not won away in the league all season.
Philip Dorward, The Observer

Steve Coppell is getting sick and tired of being told his Reading team are suffering from second-season syndrome. In fact, he won't answer any more questions on the subject. Reading may be a template of what a smaller club can do with an attractive style of play and a harmonious dressing room but, unless they stop leaking goals soon, the Royals could well find themselves embroiled in a scrap of their own making.
Andrew Warshaw, The Telegraph