Reading Football Club News: August 2018

Reading Get First Win Of The Season

15 August 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading delivered a much needed confidence boost for the team and fans alike with a 2-0 home victory over a poor Birmingham City in the first round of the League Cup. Reading's first win of the season was comfortable enough thanks to two good goals - one in the first half from Yakou Meite and a stunning second half free kick from the boot of John Swift. In the end this was a straight forward victory with Reading enjoying the better of the match and looking solid for their win without ever looking over impressive apart from two well taken goals.

Paul Clement made changes for this League Cup game but the changes weren't over dramatic and the starting eleven was clearly a very strong side rather than a reserve team. Sam Walker got his first start in goal and Moore was finally recalled to the side after his summer transfer drama. Swift was back in the team after sitting it out during our weekend league defeat at Nottingham Forest. Up front we started with both Baldock and McNulty with Bodvarsson ending as an unused substitute.

McNulty should be pleased with his performance that included setting up the first goal with an excellent ball to Meite. Overall we were not particularly strong up front but the defence was again impressive with sold performances from the back four. Defensively we clearly have plenty of options now Moore clearly up for the challenge and there was even time to O'Shea to make an appearance from the bench late on and show he can still do a job. In goal Walker did nothing wrong and should provide some competition for Manone.

League Cup first round games are miles away from the demands of a League game, but there were plenty of positives for Reading to take into their home fixture with Bolton on Saturday. Clement clearly has a good squad to pick from and options to pick from in nearly every position. It may be early days but three points are a must on Saturday against a side that Reading should expect to beat if they are to do anything this season. Before that we have the interest of the second round draw that takes place on Thursday.

Plenty Of Changes Expected For League Cup Game

14 August 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading manager Paul Clement looks set to make plenty of changes tonight as Birmingham City visit the Madejski Stadium for a first round League Cup tie. The Royals might enjoy a break from the league after two straight defeats sees them bottom of the very early Championship table. Birmingham haven't done much better and have just a single point to show from their league games with a 2-2 home draw against Norwich and a 0-1 defeat on the road at Middlesbrough.

Last season Reading got through two rounds of the League Cup before a third round exit at home to Swansea City. This time around Reading have a tougher start against Championship opposition and will be looking to use the tie to give some match action to players who have been forced to wait their turn. The same will apply to the visitors who are certain to also mix up their starting eleven for a match that has little significance.

For Reading we should see players who have been on the bench make some starts and that could include McNulty up front, Richards in defence and both Swift and O'Shea will be hoping to get some game time to make a claim for a starting place in the league. New signing Sam Walker is likely to be given a chance in goal after signing from Colchester in the summer.

Last season Birmingham City were 2-0 winners against Reading in the league at the Madejski. So Reading will be hoping to repeat their away performance from the last campaign when goals from Bodvarsson and Evans secured an away win by the same score line. Our last cup game against City was way back in January 2007 whenre we were 3-2 winners on the road.

Recent Meetings With Birmingham City

02 January 2018 Championship Birmingham (HOME) L: 0-2 Read report...
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...

Reading Bottom: Another Narrow Defeat

13 August 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?

It was business as usual for the Royals this weekend as they enjoyed some good spells of football against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground before leaving with a 0-1 defeat. Reading have lost their opening two games of the Championship season and sit bottom of the table, as they continue the form that finished last season's disappointing campaign. There are some signs for optimism, but the truth is that despite the signings of Baldock and McNulty the Royals are dramatically lacking up front. There seems little doubt that Reading face a tough season ahead of them. Most Reading fans remain confident that Reading will avoid the drop but there are no signs that we should expect anything more with the current squad.

Playing away from home against a team expected to challenge for promotion this season, Reading did a good job in limiting Forest's chances. Despite Liam Moore staying at Reading he was again missing from the match day squad, allowing Ilori and McShane to continue in the centre of defence. The defence dealt with Forest with no issues for most of the game. After few chances it was 0-0 at half-time and it was Reading that went closest after the break with Meite putting a header just wide. However, it was a quiet afternoon from Baldock who found himself replaced by McNulty on the hour. McNulty also had no success up front and instead it was Forest that claimed the win on 68 minutes as they gradually too control of the game.

The Royals were never likely to come back from a goal down away from home - they last time we scored on the road was way back in March. Reading have now scored just a single league goal in their last five games and Clement appears to have a massive job ahead of him to turn things around. Despite the early pressure Clement remains confident of a Reading revival as the season continues: "It was too not bad a performance, particularly away from home against a team that played very well in their last game here... we had the advantage... The reality is we're an improving team. I can see the improvement so I'm not worried."

Reading now face Birmingham City at home on Tuesday night in the league cup before Bolton Wanderers visit next weekend. Reading will fancy their chances of some first league points of the season against Bolton who struggled last term and just survived the drop. However, Bolton will arrive with confidence after picking up four points from their opening two games.

Quiet Transfer Deadline Day For Royals

10 August 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Transfer deadline day passed quietly for the Royals as they hung on to central defender Liam Moore, who had been expected to move away from the club during the summer. Last season's player of the season was widely expected to join Brighton but failed to move after Reading considered and rejected offers that didn't match their value of the player. With no signings coming in on deadline day either it appears that Reading wrapped up their transfers early on, although there is still the possibility of loan moves until the end of August.

Prior to the transfer window closing, Reading wrapped up the signings of striker Sam Baldock from Brighton and goalkeeper Sam Walker from Colchester last week. Both players were eligible to play as the Royals kicked off their season with a disappointing 1-2 home defeat against Derby County last Friday. Walker was on the bench with Mannone continuing in goal while Baldock got to player the last 20 minutes or so after coming off the bench to replace Swift. Meanwhile summer signings Yiadom and Meyler also made their competitive debuts for the Royals after signing last month.

Liam Moore was missing ahead of his expected move but could now return to the starting eleven as the Royals travel to Nottingham Forest for their second game of the new season this weekend. For Forest it will already be their third league game after two 1-1 draws against Bristol City and West Brom. With four points already dropped they will be hoping to pick up three points against a Reading side widely tipped for relegation.

Summer signings - summary:

Players In

  • Sam Baldock (Brighton)
  • Sam Walker (Colchester)
  • Marc McNulty (Coventry) £1M
  • Darren Sidoel (Jong Ajax)
  • John O'Shea (Sunderland)
  • David Meyler (Hull City)
  • Andy Yiadom (Barnsley)

Players Out

  • George Evans (Derby)
  • Sam Smith (Oxford) - Loan
  • Lewis Ward (Northampton) - Loan
  • Joey van den Berg (NEC Nijmegen) - Loan
  • Yann Kermorgant (Retired)
  • Tennai Watson (AFC Wimbledon) - Season Loan
  • Andrija Novakovic (Fortuna Sittard) - Season Loan
  • Sandro Weiser (Contract Terminated)
  • Stephen Quinn (Released)
  • Joseph Mendes (Released)
  • Deniss Rakels (Released)
  • Jonathan Bond (Released)
  • Danzell Gravenberch (KSV Roeselare) - Season Loan