In the one game (potentially) that Martin Kuhl has as temporary boss, he comes up against a referee who had a run in with a previous Royals manager. Back in November 2013, official Geoff Eltringham booked Chris Gunter for diving after the right-back was clearly tripped in the box by Blackburn's Grant Hanley in a 0-0 draw at Ewood Park. In turn, he infuriated Nigel Adkins, who proclaimed “it's that obvious for everybody, I don't need to say anything,” and “it's totally wrong."
On a more positive note (because that’s what Nigel would have wanted), Reading have not lost when Eltringham has been the man in the middle. As well as that draw in Lancashire, we beat Derby in February 2012, whilst the most recent game was the 1-1 draw with Blackpool back in April. In that match, the County Durham ref awarded the Tangerines a penalty in the sixth minute which Jamie O’Hara scored, before we needed an own goal to help us gain a point against the league’s bottom side.
So far this campaign, Eltringham has officiated 18 games in all competitions, handing out 38 yellow cards and three red cards - all of the early baths he has given have come in the Championship. One came in his last game as Blackburn beat Bristol City 2-0, when he also gave a penalty to Rovers. In total, he has awarded five spot-kicks this season.
The assistant referees today will be Helen Byrne and Robert Jones, whilst the fourth official is Carl Boyeson.