Let's review our season so far - just briefly - and see what's really going on. 25 games played, 6th place, 39 points from 75 available. Eight points behind league leaders Southampton and 20 points ahead of relegation-threatened Coventry City, bottom of the league.
But we've just lost two in a row so is it, time to panic?
It's not just the results but the performances that has got fans worrying; it can be a vicious cycle if you go on a losing streak. Lazy, limbless and sloppy performances against Cardiff and Stevenage have angered fans and the staff alike, even boos echoed around the Madejski Stadium Saturday.
January is usually a depressing time of year for Reading fans, with Madejski's business acumen meaning the club doesn't spend wildly, January is usually the time of year where young, ambitious and hungry players come into the club to realise their potential; but we don't get to see them play until at least the season after. The transfer window will not, and has never, really, lifted the club. A fresh new face would help but we're unlikely to see a player of such quality that would lift the entire team.
We're too one dimensional. I've said it before, but a more creative player is needed. Dare I say Brian Howard needs to play? Karacan and Legs do a great job of breaking up play and distributing simple passes, but creative they are not. Neither are they goal-scorers. If McAnuff and Kebe are off form, how do we expect to get balls into the box and to our strikers? Doomed.
WAIT, DON'T PANIC!
Oh, but there's one thing that our fans are forgetting. In Brian McDermott, former Arsenal winger, Reading have a manager who is one of the best man-managing coaches in England. He brings the best out of players that had previously underachieved or failed to live up to their potential. Look at what he has done for Cummings, Kebe, Long. Even Alex "turning circle of an oil rig" Pearce has stepped up and won the Championship Player of the Month award for December 2011. What Reading lack in finances, outstanding quality and mind-boggling tactical tweaks they make up for in one man and his coaching team, Brian McDermott.
Trust in McDermott, and I'm sure we'll be seeing Reading fighting at the top end of the table for years to come. Who knows, they could even get promoted.
NO NEED TO PANIC.