clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

5 Things - Watford

New, comments

Steve Clarke's first game in charge of Reading saw the home side fall to a 0-1 defeat to high-flyers Watford. Bucks Royal has his take on the match with his 5 Things.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

1) Changes take time.

This game was never really going to mean anything. Having only been appointed on Tuesday, new boss Steve Clarke had very little time before the visit of Watford to get the team playing as he would have wanted. Five years ago, one of Brian McDermott's first games in charge was a 4-1 mauling at Plymouth to keep us in the relegation mix - that season ended with a 9th place finish. Realistically, we might not see any real improvements until well into January.

2) The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Despite a few changes, his team selection was one that you could easily imagine Nigel Adkins making; 4-2-3-1 with Cox behind Murray, Blackman and McCleary down the wings with Norwood and Williams playing deeper. Clarke won't be able to alter that to any great extent for at least a few weeks, with the likes of Karacan, Guthrie, Robson-Kanu, Mackie, Pogrebnyak and Ferdinand all still ruled out. With limited funds, it'll be interesting to see what Clarke prioritises in January.

3) Gunter and Obita.

Returning to his natural position at right back, Chris Gunter had a much better game on Saturday than he has done in recent months. Showing much of the same attacking instinct and defensive awareness that he did last season, it appears that this is where Clarke is likely to play him going forwards from now. Taking his place on the other flank, Jordan Obita returned to left back - a similar mirroring of last season. If this game is anything to judge, Jordan Obita's time further up the pitch could be over (at least for this season), with Clarke preferring orthodox full backs (one right footed, one left footed).

4) Murray probably won't be here much longer

With Neil Warnock's comments earlier in the week that he'd have Glenn Murray back in the Crystal Palace side, and this Reading team doing so poorly, Clarke will face a big challenge trying to persuade the striker to stay at the club. Murray's loan deal runs out in January, meaning that he could only be here for two more league games before departing. With money tight because of Financial Fair Play, Clarke might not even want to invest in a forward that has only managed two goals since the start of November.

5) Attendance upturn for the new manager

An turnout of 18.522 makes Saturday's game at home to Watford Reading's second highest-attended game of the season at the Madejski. Considering the pretty dire form of late under ex-manager Nigel Adkins, that could easily have been a few thousand lower. But the change at the top seems to have perked the fans' interest, at least in the short term. An encouraging display at home to Norwich next Sunday could be vitally important to bringing the crowds back to the Mad Stad going into 2015.