News and Views

Reading Out Of Bottom Three With Dramatic Win

13 February 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

An outstanding finish from Nelson Oliveira gave Reading the win they desperately needed as they climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time since Boxing Day. Rovers dominated possession in the first half, flooding the midfield and stifling any attempts by the Royals to play their passing game. Then in stoppage time a penetrative run and pass by Yiadom found Swift in the box, who shifted the ball out of his feet and squeezed the ball past 'keeper Raya inside the far post.

Reading came out for the second half on the front foot and, with Meite replacing Aluko, looked a far more potent attacking force. Inside the last ten minutes Bell broke through on the left and levelled the scores giving Reading fans that familiar sinking feeling. Rovers were in the ascendency and sensed they might even push on to take all three points. Oliveira had other ideas, and when Swift's excellent long ball found him deep in the Rovers half he ran at the visitors defence, cut inside the centre back, and hammered the ball past Raya. The Madejski Stadium erupted as the home fans acclaimed what proved to be the winning goal.
Read More...

Reading Work Hard For Point

02 February 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

There was a noticeably more positive and confident mood amoungst the home fans today than in recent games, which mirrored a much improved attitude within this radically changed Reading team. Up against very strong Villa side with realistic promotion ambitions, the Royals played with a conviction and belief which has been frequently lacking this season. There was no evidence of the weakness which surfaced again earlier in the week when two points were dropped as the defence leaked a stoppage time equaliser to fellow strugglers Bolton.

After an evenly contested first half in which Reading had more possession, Villa launched a sustained assault on the home side immediately after half time. Reading dug in stubbornly to keep Villa at bay, and only in the final phase of the game did they eventually begin to threaten their opponent's goal. Only five attempts on target (three from Villa and two from Reading) were registered in the entire game, although it was far from a dull goalless draw. Read More...

17 Games to Save The Season

01 February 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Not since the 2001/02 season has Reading Football club plied its trade in the third tier of English football, but a downward curve over the last 18 months has a very real chance of catching the Royals out and condemning them to relegation.

With 17 games left to go in the Championship, Reading find themselves a point adrift of safety and, with everything on the line, those who like to seek out the best bookie for betting with high stakes may want to chat to the Reading board as relegation for the former Premier League outfit would be a disaster.

Already the Royals have dismissed Paul Clement this season after a dismal first half of the campaign led him to be replaced by Portuguese José Manuel Gomes who has so far recorded just one win from seven games.

However, before the death knell is rung, the season is far from over and a glance at the remaining games, one can see where Reading may yet save their season and start the summer rebuilding process for another campaign in England's second tier.

Where Will Reading Get Another 20 Points from?

During the 2017/18 Championship season, Bolton were the side that finished one place above the drop zone in 21st with 43. The Royals currently have 24 points from 29 games meaning they need a remarkable improvement if they are to achieve nearly the same number of points again only in twelve games less.

What that means is José Manuel Gomes may need to raise his sides average points per game from its current 0.83 to 1.18 if they are to achieve survival.  Therefore Reading must start finding some wins rather than draws.

Ironically, the Royals have just played Bolton, who themselves are one spot below Reading in the table and in need of their own miracle. 

The game was a real six pointer, which neither side managed to take advantage of, although Bolton will come out of the game the happier after such a late equaliser that could be vital in their survival hopes. The draw probably wasn't enough for Reading.

The table does not lie and not every side will go on a much-needed winning run. Bolton still have the headache of the FA Cup to contend with and have won only one of their last nine home games in the league.  With Ipswich seemingly down, Reading will have to get better results than both Bolton and Rotherham.

The Royals also still face their second legs over both rock bottom Ipswich Town and 21st placed Rotherham United with all three games against Bolton, Rotherham, Ipswich occurring no later than the 3rd March.

It is imperative that the Royals pick up wins over Rotherham and Ipswich as four of their final six fixtures are against sides currently in the top seven and all fighting for promotion.

The final home tie against Birmingham City could well be crucial and 90 minutes of football that will decide Reading's fate for the 2019/20 season with the relegation fight going down to the wire.

Bacuna, McNulty And Meyler Depart

31 January 2019
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Leandro Bacuna has signed for Premier League strugglers Cardiff City for a rumoured three million pounds as Royals boss Jose Gomes had a player clear out on transfer deadline day. Bacuna leaves Reading after one and a half season's at the club, arriving from Aston Villa in the summer of 2017. Bacuna made 66 appearances in a Reading shirt and scored five times.

Striker Marc McNulty was also out of the door, signing on loan for Scottish side Hibernian after failing to make an impact at Reading. After Paul Clement signed him in the summer from Coventry he has managed just six starts and only scored a single goal. Meanwhile out of favour David Meyler moves to Coventry City on loan until the end of the season.

The three players leave after Gomes saw Tiago Ilori move back to Sporting Lisbon on a permanent move earlier this week. Fellow defender Gabriel Osho also heads out on loan to Bristol City as Gomes slims down his squad.

Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Bolton Wanderers saw Gomes hand debuts to new signings striker Nelson Oliveira, goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, and central defender Matt Miazga. All three players come into the club on loan - Oliveira from Norwich City, Martinez from Arsenal and Miazga from Chelsea.

It has been a busy week at Reading, and the departures follow the three new players coming in to make a very different looking starting eleven on Tuesday night. It appeared to be a positive move as Reading looked set to pick-up a rare three points until a stoppage time Bolton equaliser. Oliveira scored his first goal in nearly a year from the penalty spot and it had looked to be enough.

With Oliveira and Miazga coming in, it is no surprise that McNulty and Ilori were allowed to leave. Osho leaves to pick up experience and you feel he may have a future at Reading. However, it is disappointing to lose Leandro Bacuna who has looked a decent player in recent months.