News and Views
McCleary Returns As Derby Visit
30 September 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Reading will try and put the heavy mid-week defeat at Brentford behind them when Derby County visit the Madejski Stadium this weekend. The Royals were on a run of eight fixtures without defeat, that had seen them climb to fourth in the Championship table and reach the fourth round of the league cup. The 1-4 defeat at Brentford stopped Reading in their tracks - just when fans were starting to get a bit ahead of themselves, dreaming of a promotion push this season. However, the defeat leaves Reading in 8th place with ten games played and just three points away from second place - a very healthy position given the dramatic changes at the club over the summer and two defeats from our opening three league games.
All things considered the Brentford defeat remains a very minor setback, and victory over Derby County would likely take us back into the top six. Derby County find themsevles envious of both Reading's start to the season and their managerial situation. Chris Powell takes control of the visitors on a temporary basis following the suspension of manager Nigel Pearson. Although sitting in 20th position with just nine points, County were 2-0 away winners at Cardiff in the week under Powell's control and he will be hoping to record another away victory in charge, with Pearson unlikely to make a return.
Garath McCleary will be available for selection again having served the final game of his suspension following his red card. He will expect an immediate return to the starting eleven, particually as Stam tweaks his side following the Brentford defeat. Danny Williams will also be hoping to be back in the side after missing out at Brenford due to minor ankle injury picked up in the win against Huddersfield last weekend. Scoring goals remains a big problem for the Royals once against this season, but Kermorgant is expected to remain up front after his consolation penalty at Brentford.
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