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Reading v Blackpool: Five Things

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Clearly 5 goals scored almost writes itself but let's indulge for a few minutes....

Jordan Mansfield

4-4-2 is it

I went with a mate of mine to the game (bear with me). He hadn't been in a while and in the first few minutes when the writing was on the wall that the idea was to lump it to the Pog, he turned to me and said "I see you play a 442 long game - how cultured". I replied tersely and coarsely, pushing my hands deeper into my pockets, furrowing a worried brow - we don't do consistency much these days. But before long we started playing wide - McCleary & McAnuff really excelling in some old fashioned wing play, a lovely move featuring the former resulting in Alf's first goal. That was soon followed by some semi-intricate passes which worked pretty well, then whilst breaking fast and a deft short pass, voila Alf's last goal. This formation really suited the players, as mentioned in my last post, and allowed us to change tactics to suit.

Thrashing teams is fun...

...but also allows some players to get some on field experience and/ or injured ones to come back in a ‘soft' scenario. HRK got some game time and in a match such as last nights, got some minutes and space, thrashing a peach of a goal in. For the record, why does Blackman keep coming on and playing wide? I thought he was a striker not a winger? It'd be very interesting to see Hector as a starter with a job to do at the outset, rather than effectively coming on in a dead rubber situation.

Don't ease off

Not so much a learning, more something I screamed at Jobi who at a lull in the game 65 mins in got foolishly robbed of the ball in midfield which allowed them to score from the pick up. Quite a goal too, to be fair. Luckily this did have the desired reaction from the Royals who returned to their focus and scored another couple. A fair warning to be 100% focused over the 90, not that us fans needed reminding.

A late run?

Whilst we've scored a sack full in the last two home games I do think we saw two pretty ordinary (and by ordinary I mean rubbish) teams and we should not assume we are booked with reserved seats on the famous RFC late train to divisional success. Our squad seems pretty capable to be mid to upper Championship, sure we may lose a few but if we can keep some momentum, we'll be there or thereabouts the play-offs in the Summer. That in itself = Yikes.

Our attendances are not amazing

I think we had 16,500ish at the ground on Tuesday. Whilst I appreciate Blackpool didn't and indeed wouldn't bring coach loads plus the weather is pretty poor, I do have a sneaking suspicion that our attendances may be lacklustre. Not lacklustre in terms of voice or enthusiasm but in terms of bums on seats. I have no facts to back this up, it's merely an impression and I would welcome refuting from others but I'd have thought more of our seats would be full for a team in the playoffs, even midweek.