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Five Things: Blackburn 3-1 Reading FC

With no shortage of debate over last Saturday's game, Marc takes a delve into the murky waters of the defeat in Lancashire to fish out the five big talking points from the latest Royals defeat.

Ben Hoskins

1. Nigel Adkins is losing the fans' trust

To be honest, it's hard to tell if Adkins is in the process of losing the fans trust, lost it on Saturday, or lost it weeks ago. But, it's clear that the fans and manager are currently at odds with each other in terms of starting line up. This is certainly not unusual, and Adkins wasn't actually too far off the XI that The Tilehurst End readers voted for before the game.

No, it was the vitriolic reaction to the absence of just two players that showed how Adkins has lost/is losing the faith of the fans in his team selection. Looking at it objectively, Jamie Mackie and Simon Cox are good players- one was man of the match the week before and the other was rather underwhelming. When dropped by a manager that is backed to the hilt by his supporters, the reaction would be one of cautious acceptance, but on Saturday many were just waiting for the likes of Hal Robson-Kanu to fail.

2. Were we ever going to win?

Blackpool was a must-win, the worst team in the league (who were off-form even for them) at home. Then we went away to a top 10 side, with two of the form strikers in the league, beaten just once at home and on the verge of three wins in a row. This was a done-thing before a ball had been kicked.

Besides, whisper it quietly, Reading played well in the first-half and were fully in the game until a class free-kick and a late rebound. It's worth remembering that most teams in this league have had greater investment and been a lot more stable in recent years, and that stability has led to the likes of Blackburn & Derby being where they are now. All of which is in contrast to The Royals, that's no coincidence.

3. Is Glenn Murray going to be our signing of the season?

The battle will be pretty tight, as Oliver Norwood and Simon Cox have certainly hit the ground running, but if the 31-year-old sticks around at the Mad Stad we could see a greater return on that investment than any other. With five goals, the same as Cox, Murray is showing how important he is as a goal-getter at vital moments and Saturday's equaliser was a typical poacher's strike.

4. ANOTHER huge week. It feels a bit early, though.

Two home games in a November week against a weak Rotherham and dipping Charlton would usually be greeted with glee and a sense of relaxation. Yet, this Reading team have ended up making it a huge week. Two wins eases the pressure valve of Nigel Adkins until Christmas, while two defeats could see it steaming over.

It feels strange to be saying it so early, but by the international break we will probably know a lot more about where Reading will finish this season. I suspect that this week will just add to the early season consensus that we'll finish mid-table.

5. CLICHE ALERT: Long season.

Not in the usual sense that anything can happen, but because I suspect this will be a long season in the sense that very little will happen. Reading will lose the hard games and win the easy ones. Much a contrast to last season, indeed, but arguably making for a duller, more drawn out affair as The Royals are eventually condemned to mid-table mediocrity (if not already).

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.