Reading Football Club News: May 2018

Reading Safe As Disappointing Season Finally Ends

06 May 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading finished their hugely disappointing season with an impressive result at Premier League bound Cardiff City. The 0-0 draw would have been enough to keep Reading up regardless of other results, but with Burton and Barnsley both losing, Reading were always going to be safe on the final day of the Championship season. Cardiff found themselves in a similar situation with Fulham's defeat also meaning they were promoted as runners-up whatever the scoreline with the Royals. With Cardiff already promoted and Reading already safe from relegation, and with home fans eager to get on the pitch to celebrate promotion the last few minutes were spent with Reading just knocking the ball around the defence waiting for the final whistle. That summed up the game perfectly - perhaps with scorelines elsewhere the early pressure quickly evaporated and both teams then lacked urgency and were happy to settle for a point with time running out.

Before the match everyone was expecting Reading to take a battering at the hands of Cardiff. Before heading to a side who will be playing in the top tier next season, the Royals had let in seven goals and scored none in their last two league defeats. Reading's last 16 games had seen them earn just 2 wins. Meanwhile Cardiff had secured 11 wins over the same period and despite a wobble towards the end of the season they had still won three out of their last four games. It was a surprise to find Reading deep in Cardiff territory for the opening five minutes but soon enough the game turned and it was Reading who found the ball in their half for most of the rest of the game.

Despite beginning to dominate the game Cardiff struggled to really test Mannone, and were limited to longer range efforts that failed to find the target. Despite a bright start Reading found themselves on the defensive for the rest of the game and finished after notching up just a single off-target shot in the entire game. I imagine the neutral watching on Sky TV had turned off long before the final whistle. Despite taking it to the last day of the season, you always felt that Reading would stay up. Next season could be a different story if this form and this football continues.

Reading finished the season in 20th place and three points away from the drop. That's our lowest placing since our promotion out of the third tier in 2002. Paul Clement has a tough job ahead of him to turn Reading's fortunes around next season.

Royals Set To Lose At Cardiff But Stay Up

05 May 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading enter the final day of the Championship tomorrow knowing that there is still an outside chance of relegation, after a hugely disappointing season. The Royals will be relegated to League One if they lose at Cardiff, Birmingham draw or win, and both Barnsley and Burton also win their games. It's a hugely unlikely situation and the most likely outcome remains a solid defeat for Reading at Cardiff City and Reading staying up thanks to someone else dropping vital points at the bottom of the table.

Cardiff City need a victory to guarantee second place in the table and promotion to the Premier League. Reading are seen as perfect opposition to pick up the three points they need. However, if Reading could somehow cause a shock, then just a single point would guarantee our survival regardless of other results. Sky have chosen to screen the game live (12:30pm kick-off) so they can capture the scenes as Cardiff secure promotion. It will be a strange day for Reading fans if everything goes as expected and we secure safety on the back of another heavy defeat.

Final Day Fixtures - How Reading could still go down:

  • Cardiff -v- Reading - First of all we would have to lose at Cardiff - obviously very likely.
  • Birmingham -v- Fulham - Birmingham would need at least a point to move above us, which is going to be very difficult against a Fulham side who themselves have to win to have a chance of second place. Fulham will need Reading to help them out at Cardiff or it's the play-offs for them.
  • Derby -v- Barnsley - Barnsley have to win at Derby. However Derby need at least a point to be sure of a play-off finish.
  • Preston -v- Burton - Burton have to win at Preston. Preston must win to have any chance of catching Derby and stealing the last play-off place.

All the teams that need to get results to send Reading down are playing against teams that themselves need results to have a shot at promotion. It's unthinkable that both Barnsley and Burton could win on the road against play-off chasing teams. With everything considered it seems very unlikely that Reading could end up in the bottom three on the final day - but it's definitely not impossible.