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Reading FC's Midweek Road Woes

What is it about midweek away games and Reading FC? We take a quick look at what's going wrong when we hit the road on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

The Stats

Going back over the past two campaigns at this level  shows that in games played on a Tuesday or Wednesday (not including bank holiday fixtures) Reading fans have generally had little to cheer.

READING FC MIDWEEK AWAY GAMES SINCE 2013/14
PLAYED WON DRAWN LOST SCORED CONCEDED WIN %
7 1 3 3 6 12 14

So not a pretty sight for fans who love a midweek jaunt away from the Madejski, with a 4-2 win away at Leeds last season our only success on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.

So how does that compare to our overall away record in that time?

READING FC AWAY RECORD SINCE 2013/14
PLAYED WON DRAWN LOST SCORED CONCEDED WIN %
40 15 8 17 47 64 37.5%

So you're nearly three times as likely to see a Reading win if you follow them on a Friday, Saturday or Bank Holiday than you are making a trek away from the Madejski during the middle of the week.

Travel Sickness?

Quality of opposition can't really be used as too much of an excuse. Sure two games came at Bournemouth but we've also failed to win at Barnsley, Huddersfield, Millwall and on a second trip to a struggling Leeds.

Not being a sports psychologist I can't confess to knowing how greatly a player's fitness or mental preparedness is affected by having to travel to an away game. Similarly I don't know how much of a toll it takes having to play again after just three days rest, so any point I make on that is going to be guesswork.

From a personal point of view I can't say I ever feel particularly fresh on the day of a long journey, even if I've travelled in relative comfort, so I can't imagine it helps. The distances we've had to travel haven't been ideal but Bournemouth is one of our shortest journeys and we've been thrashed convincingly on both occasions.

The biggest reason for our poor results is probably the simplest to pinpoint -  an alarming lack of goals. In those seven games we've managed to score six times but four came in the space of just 30 minutes at Leeds. That trip aside we've scored just twice, with Hal Robson-Kanu grabbing both of those, including a mere consolation when 3-0 down at Bournemouth.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at things, we have a chance to put things right tonight at Bolton and again later this season at Blackpool.

However, in the end all that matters is we pick up enough wins throughout a season and more importantly, find a way to win a rather big game in Yorkshire on Saturday....