Jaap Stam made two changes to the team that beat Ipswich 2-1 on Friday night, with Jordan Obita and Stephen Quinn replacing Tyler Blackett and George Evans respectively. However, the latter would end up starting the game as Joey van den Berg injured himself in the warm-up so was unable to feature. It was also a third straight game on the bench for August player of the Month John Swift.
The first half followed a fairly predictable pattern as Reading dominated territory and possession without really testing Adam Legzdins in the Birmingham goal. Likewise, Stam's side looked vulnerable on the break and from set pieces, with Al-Habsi the busier man between the posts. Reading's formation was more 3-4-3 than 4-3-3, with Evans playing in the centre of McShane and Moore, but it made little difference as again they struggled to really manufacture decent opportunities from open play.
The second-half saw Birmingham start the brighter before Reading settled into their usual routine of controlling the ball for long periods. However, once again it was difficult to see where a goal was going to come from and it's games like these where you really do realise how limited Stam's attacking options are within the current squad.
Swift entered the fray with 20 minutes to go, with Callum Harriott And Joseph Mendes also introduced later on but none could force a breakthrough and Stam will have to be content with another clean sheet and a 0-0 draw that makes it five unbeaten in all competitions.
Reading line-up: Al-Habsi; Gunter, McShane, Moore, Obita;
van den Berg Evans, Williams, Quinn (Swift); McCleary (Harriott), Kermorgant, Beerens (Mendes)
Make sure to stay tuned to The Tilehurst End for a full report and player ratings in the next couple of days!