Reading Football Club News: January 2022

Downward Spiral Continues After Latest Defeat

19 January 2022
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The mood inside the Select Car Leasing Stadium yesterday evening at the final whistle was almost as worrying as the performance of the latest 'patched up' team charged with the responsibility of stopping the rot which has seen Reading gradually slide into the relegation battle which is about to begin in earnest. The absence of Andy Carroll did nothing for morale before the game, and the sight of Puscas scurrying around up front was hardly likely to inspire confidence amongst the home fans or the players.
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Rafael Out, Moore Finished As Chaos Continues

17 January 2022
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The chaos continues at Reading after yet another disappointing weekend. Yet again, Reading dropped all three points despite leading 1-0 at Middlesbrough with just six minutes left on the clock. Reading remain three points outside of the bottom three but now only 8 points off the bottom of the table after Derby's great run of form continued. Meanwhile the club put out a surprise statement about defender Liam Moore wanting to leave the club. The statement didn't hold back and effectively implied the highly paid Moore is unlikely to play for the club again, as well as being immediately stripped of his captaincy.

The club statement also confirmed the club are fully supportive of manager Paunovic who is under huge pressure after recent humiliating results, including an FA Cup exit at Kidderminster and a 0-7 home trashing by Fulham. Paunovic has had a massively difficult job with injuries, financial difficulties and points deductions. His contract ends in the summer and the club feel it would make no financial sense to pay off a contract early when another manager is unlikely to have a major impact.

Although not unexpected, goalkeeper Rafael has agreed to terminate his contract with Reading and return to Brazil after dropping out of favour at the club. With Reading's injury list still causing huge problems the squad is now even smaller. Andy Carroll scored Reading's only goal at the weekend and it is not clear if that was his last performance in a Reading shirt - but it was likely it was. There is very little good news coming out of the club right now.

Fulham Humiliate Reading

11 January 2022
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading's season continues to unravel at an alarming rate with a humiliating defeat at the hands of high flying Fulham. Given Reading's remarkable growing list of injuries to key players, the last thing they needed was Yiadom and Rahman their two experienced full backs departing to play the African nations Cup. With further injuries to Hallalovic, Araruna and Azeez following an embarrassing exit from the FA Cup at the weekend at the hands of non-league Kettering, few would have expected anything other than a Fulham win in spite of Reading's early season triumph at Craven Cottage. The seven goal margin of victory does not flatter the London side, but the score line does not tell the whole story.
Match Report: Reading 0 Fulham 7

FA Cup Embarrassment

08 January 2022
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading sunk to new low after Kidderminster pulled off a deserved victory to dump the Royals out of the FA Cup in the third round. Reading were second best to a side a massive 79 league places behind them, and there were no positives to take from the match which also saw Araruna pick up a serious knee injury shortly after coming on as a second half substitute. Alen Halilovic was also forced to leave the pitch with an injury leaving Paunovic with more problems as he attempts to keep out of the bottom three in the Championship. Paunovic opted for a mix of experience and youth but it was still a reasonably strong side that featured Rafael in goal and Holmes, Drinkwater, Dele-Bashiru, Halilovic and Puscas in the starting eleven. Despite the injury problems we are suffering and the recent issues with Covid at the club there was still no excuse for the manner of defeat against the National League North side, who are the lowest positioned side left in the competition and will now go on to face West Ham United at home.

At half time it looked like Reading might do enough to scrape through after taking the lead immediately before half time. Puscas scored his first goal of the season with a solid finish after narrowly staying on-side and neutrals would have expected Reading to see out the win in the second half. However Reading are not good at holding on to leads, regardless of the opposition, and Kidderminster were by far the better side in the second half. Reading's defence struggled to cope with the pace of the Harriers attack and they could have gone level after a great run down the right saw the Reading defence in chaos and the shot just wide of the post. The home side did draw level on 69 minutes when Rafael failed to hold a shot from the left inside of the box which he really should have saved with the ball squeezing through under his body. Bad turned to worse with eight minutes left on the clock when Reading failed to deal with a corner from the Kidderminster right which was somehow bundled over the line. The goal sparked jubilation in the home crowd but they had to wait for 12 minutes of stoppage time before they could celebrate their win - 12 minutes in which Reading did very little to threaten a late goal.