The magic of the FA Cup, eh? Only one match in the competition in February, but the Royals got through to the Quarter Finals with a fine performance away at Derby County - and Reading finally scored a goal against ten men under Clarke to seal a trip to Bradford City. One game away from Wembley, it would be a first semi-final since the 1926-27 season. The Royals have seen success in the FA Cup in recent years, but never reached the last four. The time is now...
And aside from last Tuesday's woeful performance away at Huddersfield, it was three from three on the road against Championship teams in February. The aforementioned Derby match didn't count in the League, but instead saw us move one step closer to glory in the Cup. And two hard fought wins away at Ipswich Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers gave the team some much needed points, and Royals fans some much needed hope - Reading can, on their day, mix it with the big boys.
The fans also seem to appreciate Clarke's tone a lot more. He was extremely honest in his post-match press conference after Saturday's capitulation at home to Nottingham Forest, at times pulling back the PR curtain which managers try to hard to use as a shield when talking about his players "as usual" not getting into the box. Whilst results haven't been great, it's at least refreshing to see a manager admitting that his team isn't playing well enough.
Home is where the heart is, but sadly not where the goals are. None scored at the Madejski in February (away teams aside) and fans are quickly showing their disgruntlement by not turning up. 18,300-odd was the official attendance on Saturday against Forest but it was clear that was the number of tickets sold, and certainly not the number of people through the turnstiles.
Those three home performances were, simply put, atrocious. Forest were in extremely good form but the way Reading capitulated after going behind was embarrassing. Leeds United came to town and it looked a winnable game, but again the Royals failed to threaten and looked toothless. And Wigan Athletic... second bottom, two wins in 26, but they snuck away with a 1-0 win, despite 11 minutes of second half injury time.
And the lack of goals is becoming a concern. Reading have now scored one goal in five League games and are barely threatening the opposition. The Royals haven't scored three under Clarke yet - Nigel Adkins' sides may have leaked goals, but he at least got his side to score 3 in five of his 21 matches in the League before he was dismissed.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Reading
Reading 0-2 Leeds United
Derby County 1-2 Reading (FA Cup Fifth Round)
Reading 0-1 Wigan
Ipswich Town 0-1 Reading
Huddersfield Town 3-0 Reading
Reading 0-3 Nottingham Forest
(League: W2 D0 L4 F3 A10)
Start of February: 4.15 out of 5
So how do you feel Clarke is doing now? Let us know by voting below - and leave your thoughts below if you like.