News and Views
Fresh Pressure On Reading As Birmingham Visit
02 January 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?
It's not been a good Christmas for Reading fans after Jaap Stam's side managed to pick up just a single point from three festive fixtures. Before Christmas got underway the Royals were sunk at home by relegation favourites Burton Albion after gifting the visitors the full three points. It went from bad to worse on Boxing Day with a poor performance at Bristol City as Reading slumped to a two goal to nothing defeat. Yann Kermorgant finally made his way onto the scoresheet last weekend with his first goal of the season after returning from injury, but his goal still wasn't enough to prevent Reading surrendering two points right at the death as strugglers Barnsley took a share of the points. Bristol City are doing well at the top of the table but dropping points to Burton and then Barnsley has started the alarm bells ringing once more.
The poor points return over Christmas extended Reading's miserable run to five games without a victory. Those five games have seen Reading pick up just two points from a possible 15. Reading's run up the table during November, which now appears to have given us false hope, feels like a distant memory as the Royals find themselves back down to 17th in the Championship table and just four points out of the relegation zone.
Tonight's visitors are bottom of the table Birmingham City. The Blues have picked up just 20 points all season (from 25 games so far) and have failed to win a single league match on the road. Birmingham have picked up just three points all season from their 12 away league matches. If there was ever a game Reading fans expect to win it is this one. Failure to win tonight would surely exponentially increase the pressure on Reading manager Jaap Stam. This time last month Reading fans were celebrating a 3-1 victory over Sunderland and a late challenge for the play-offs was sneaking into post-match conversations. Those hopes have since evaporated and instead it will be the "R" word heavily featured in discussions - should Birmingham leave tonight with the win. However, it's not all doom and gloom as a Reading victory tonight would see us climb back up to 15th.
Ominously Birmingham have had a draw on the road at Sunderland, and a home victory over Leeds in their last three games. Although that might not be seen as exactly "hot form" it could well be something for them to build on as they come to the Madejski Stadium looking for their first away win of the campaign. If they are ever going to win away from home they'd fancy this as an opportunity after seeing Burton Albion leave with three points.
Reading found some form back in November when they fielded an unchanged side in consecutive games for the first team in the entire season. Stam shuffled his team around on the back of some good wins and found everything crumble around him once again. It remains consistency that is the problem for Reading, but something needs to change again after some poor results. It seems highly likely there will be fresh, and necessary, changes tonight. Liam Kelly could find himself back in the side while Kermorgant will be hoping for another full ninety minutes after playing the whole game at Barnsley.
Recent Meetings With Birmingham City
|26 August 2017||Championship||Birmingham (Away)||W: 2-0||Read report...|
|31 January 2017||Championship||Birmingham (Away)||W: 1-0||Read report...|
|13 September 2016||Championship||Birmingham (HOME)||D: 0-0||Read report...|
|09 April 2016||Championship||Birmingham (HOME)||L: 0-2||Read report...|
|08 August 2015||Championship||Birmingham (Away)||L: 1-2||Read report...|
|22 April 2015||Championship||Birmingham (HOME)||L: 0-1||Read report...|
|13 December 2014||Championship||Birmingham (Away)||L: 1-6||Read report...|
|22 March 2014||Championship||Birmingham (Away)||W: 2-1||Read report...|
|28 September 2013||Championship||Birmingham (HOME)||W: 2-0||Read report...|
|28 April 2012||Championship||Birmingham (Away)||L: 0-2||Read report...|
|06 November 2011||Championship||Birmingham (HOME)||W: 1-0||Read report...|
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