I was surprised when I found out that Nigel Miller would be the referee for Saturday’s game against Birmingham City, considering the County Durham official was the man in the middle for Reading’s 4-3 win at Charlton at the end of February.
Just 41 days and six league fixtures separate that heart-stopping win at the Valley and tomorrow’s game, so surely the Football League could have appointed us a new referee to get to know/hurl abuse at? I mean, we still haven’t had the brilliantly named Trevor Kettle yet this campaign.*
You’re probably thinking I’m a fool for complaining about some referee you’ve never heard of (you’d be right), but trust me, Reading, Birmingham and Nigel Miller is not a good mix. Why? Because he was the man in the middle when the Royals lost 6-1 at St. Andrew's last season, after which Nigel Adkins lost his job.
That was one of five Reading matches that the 56 year old has previously officiated, with two Royals wins and three defeats. Last weekend he took charge of Accrington vs Cambridge, which Reading loanee Tariqe Fosu scored in.
So far this campaign, Miller has been the whistle-blower on 27 games in all competitions, showing 66 yellow cards, three red cards and awarding four penalties, although neither of the latter since October.
The assistant referees at the Madejski Stadium will be Robert Hyde and Mark Mellor, whilst on fourth official duty is Andy Davies.
*He’s not really that brilliantly named, but to be honest not many referees are, and James Adcock is just too immature. Plus, it’s probably with good reason that Mr Kettle hasn’t been given a Reading game, as he is from Berkshire, and we don’t want any bias do we???