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Five Things: Bolton Wanderers (Away)

Matthew Cooper analyses the short and long-term impact of Reading’s draw at Bolton on Tuesday night.

BOLTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 14: General view of the Macron Stadium before the Sky Bet Championship match between Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday at Macron Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images) Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

An(other) injury for John Swift

John Swift's first season at Reading was the definition of a tale of two halves with the former Chelsea midfielder having an outstanding start to life at the Madejski before tailing off towards the end of the campaign.

He has only made five appearances this year, hampered by a hamstring injury but the 22-year-old returned to form with an excellent performance against Nottingham Forest where he scored twice in the 3-1 win and then followed it up with an assist in the 4-2 win over Derby.

Reading v Nottingham Forest - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

However, just as quickly as he has hit top form, it has been cut short with another injury. Swift was unfortunately forced off after just 17 minutes played at the Macron with what is believed to be another hamstring injury. He will be a big loss going forward.

Bad set-piece defending

The two goals that were conceded against Bolton were both headers from set pieces - a free kick and a corner, and the defending from both left a lot to be desired. There were claims for a foul by Darren Pratley for the second goal but it was still far too easy for him to score as the Bolton captain earned himself a free header.

Even the first free kick was needlessly given away by Tyler Blackett! These mistakes need to be eradicated as soon as possible if Reading are to start picking up points regularly.

Late goals

After looking as though the three points were Bolton's, Reading were finally able to get back in the game through Liam Moore, who steered home Modou Barrow's cross after 75 minutes, leaving the Royals with 15 minutes to get something from the fixture.

In the 83rd minute that elusive equaliser was delivered by Leandro Bacuna from the penalty spot after Barrow was fouled. It was good to see such determination and belief from Reading as many teams would have given up on getting back into the game if they were 2-0 down with just 20 minutes to go.

The fight the Royals showed should bode well for the rest of the season.

The international break’s lasting effect

However, while it was great to see that fightback, Reading should be beating a team in the relegation zone. What’s more, any real momentum created from the two wins prior to the international break, which reaped seven goals between them, has seemingly been stunted.

It is a shame because the way Reading played in those two fixtures was outstanding, and while the performance against Wolves warranted more than it received and the Bolton fight back was good, it's points that ultimately matter.

Goals for former players

It is just November and while Reading's top scorer is midfielder Liam Kelly with just four in all competitions, plenty of ex-Royals have been banging in the goals. Former loanees Matej Vydra and Lewis Grabban, who failed to hit the heights expected of them at the Madejski, have 18 goals between them at respective clubs Derby and Sunderland.

Winger Tariqe Fosu and striker Dominic Samuel, both of whom Jaap Stam sold in the summer, have been in the goals as well (albeit in League One). Fosu is Charlton's top scorer with seven strikes and Samuel has five for Blackburn Rovers.

Oh how Reading fans would love for all these goals to be coming at the club now - especially considering there was no striker starting against Bolton!