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Yeovil v Reading: 5 Things

Usually I'd have written this Sunday or Monday but a certain day of deadlines had my focus somewhat drawn away. I'd honestly hoped that our dealings Monday would have negated some of the points I'm going to raise but it seems for now at least that we've got to fight for promotion with what we've got. With that in mind, here's five talking points from our first ever league game with Yeovil.

Scott Heavey

1. If only all football clubs were as friendly and fan focused as Yeovil.

In my time as a Reading fan I've probably visited 40 or so grounds and few if any match the general feel-good factor and fan friendly service that we received at Yeovil.

Dedicated away fans' parking - Check

Cheap Parking (£2!) - Check

Cheap ticket (£20) - Check

Relaxed Stewarding that took the time to talk to you and treat you like an adult - Check

Decent food prices - Ok maybe not, still your standard £3 a hotdog, burger etc

Good value and interesting programe for your £3 - Check

Playing the Wurzels before kick-off? - Check

Ok so maybe the last point is a bit of fun but by and large you can tell that deep down Yeovil is still run as a Football Club rather than as a business. I find it amazing that in an era where Reading and other similar sized clubs get millions upon millions in revenue from TV companies, they still charge fans £10 to park in a huge car park at the ground and refuse to subsidise bus travel.

I understand why clubs like Reading do that but it was so nice to see a club who may only ever get 1 season in the 'big time' refuse to rip off other clubs.

It's the little touches like stewards coming up to your car to apologise for delays leaving the ground that make a big difference in how you feel and while Reading are to be commended for recently being given 5th place in the matchday experience awards, there's still more they could learn from clubs like Yeovil.


2.  Adkins continues to show a ruthless streak

I can't remember many occasions where a Reading manager has had the guts to haul off a player to make a tactical switch just 35 minutes into a game. Alan Pardew in a cup tie against Stoke in the late 90's/early 00's is about all I can remember so it was refreshing to see a manager look at a situation and respond in quick time.

Garath McCleary wouldn't have been happy being sacrificed, especially when he'd started well, but Adkins realised we were being overrun and brought on Danny Williams before we went behind rather than responding after it.

Some would say he should have got his pre-match tactics right but it's better to make the change rather than stubbornly hold on and hope your plan clicks.

Williams helped us win the game and I hope he continues to make bold calls when the situation arises.


3. Royston isn't perfect, but he's still a class above

Royston probably had his least effective game in a Reading shirt but he still showed those flashes of quality we've been missing since Sigurdsson departed the Madejski Stadium three years ago.

Sure he wasn't at his best tracking back and his set pieces were bad but people need to remember you'll get these off days from flair players and Saturday was just one of those days. If you went and looked back at the Siggy era, you'll also see that Gylfi had more than a few off days but the fact he scored 20+ goals more than made up for those bad days at the office, Royston will hopefully do the same.

I still have concerns that the team isn't up to the technical standard to feed him the ball he needs and make the spaces but you have to gamble on them catching up quickly enough.


4.  If you want passing football to work, you've got to be patient.

Look, passing football isn't always like Barcelona. It's not always going to be fast paced with exciting, incisive through balls and ole moments. Fans love to laud Swansea/Barca etc but watch them for 90 minutes and you'll see there's an awful lot of sideways passes and phases of play that just seem to go nowhere.

This is the style that many have longed for at Reading because they were tired of the hit and hope blood and thunder style that we'd seen over the past decade.

Now if you really do want a change in style folks you'll need to be patient which is why it bemuses me how some fans were constantly screaming 'GET IT FORWARD' whenever a player made a sideways pass. Sometimes GET IT FORWARD works, but on this day when our strikers are an out of form Nick Blackman and a 5ft 9 Alfie against a pair of 6'3"+ centre backs, it's not going to be terribly successful.

The players are learning folks and it'll take time to change the style over but they won't be helped if they still get berated every time they have the nerve to play sideways or backwards.


5. Hal Robson-Kanu as a striker?

This is one that's been mooted many a time but given the continuing struggles of Nick Blackman and the Pog's various woes is it time to give HRK the nod as a lone frontman? Certainly he looked comfortable further forward after coming on at Huish Park and he showed he's capable of playing a decent ball on the deck as well. Maybe it's worth unleashing Kanu on unsuspecting centre-backs and seeing how he fares.

So that's how I've seen it but what do you think? Please leave us your thoughts below.