1. We need to score first to win.
We still haven’t won having conceded first since the opening day of the season, and since then we haven’t looked like breaking that streak. Given that we’ve fallen behind to lowly Huddersfield and Barnsley, one would expect at least one win from that. But, having fallen behind after 3 minutes on Saturday we managed to equalise quickly but then offer little else. Flying out of the traps then dropping off was our main trait earlier in the season, now we just don't get started at all.
2. If only we had some January cash…
The ever-threatening Nahki Wells did well to score his 5th goal for Huddersfield and the 23-year old has been one of the up-and-coming strikers in the Football League over the last couple of years. The pacey striker was up for transfer in January and his then-manager Phil Parkinson would surely have pointed him down Berkshire way- should we have got involved. Sadly, we had no funds to operate with, and missed out on a promising striker who had a strong game against us on Saturday.
3. Sean Morrison won’t perfect the defence, yet.
It was the right option to re-introduce Morro to the back four, replacing Kaspars Gorkss who had spent the previous 2 games conceding 4 goals and a penalty. However, this doesn’t mean he’ll slot in next to Alex Pearce and command the play for a clean sheet. Quite the opposite- he was off the pace. This was probably inevitable given his lengthy lay-off, and he can only get better. So keep him in, but it may take time to be completely reassured by his presence.
4. We just can’t keep the ball.
These articles always drag up general issues, but take a look on whoscored.com and the first ‘weakness’ Reading have against Huddersfield, and generally, is that we can’t keep possession. Forget Nigel Adkins enforcing a stylish passing side, you can’t play any method of football effectively without the ball. We give it away too often, simple as that.
5. Strikers, strikers, strikers... Don’t expect to see them around much longer.
My third 5 things of the season and my traditional 5th-point-striker-finger-pointing. It’s just getting worse, sadly .Pogrebnyak has 2 penalties under his belt this week but has generally dropped off form, having been awarded a few player of the month gongs over the back end of 2013. He’s perhaps done enough to tempt a European buyer into a punt on him in the summer. Speaking of which, Adam Le Fondre (who, as I type this, Wimb calls ‘woefully out of form’ on the podcast*) will probably be off to a lower-Premiership or higher-Championship side in the summer despite his epic goal drought. He’s just contributing nothing to the team, unfortunately as is Hal Robson-Kanu, who scored against Leeds last month yet offers little at the moment.
*I thought of this point before I heard that!