A first home clean sheet this season!
To think that the season is four months in and Reading have only just managed to keep their first home clean sheet is, quite frankly, ridiculous. The Madejski Stadium was such a fortress last season with only Aston Villa and QPR taking all three points from the Royals there, but this season it has been far from the case with only two of Reading’s five league wins coming at home!
While the away form has not exactly been a whole lot better, playing at home is meant to be an advantage and it is never good to have a home record as bad as the Royals’. One thing is for sure, a dramatic improvement in home form is needed going forward.
Imagine having 16 shots in a game but only one of them ending up on target - terrible isn’t it? Well that’s exactly what Reading had against Sheffield Wednesday, talk about a lack of good finishing!
Sone Aluko, Modou Barrow and Liam Moore all had efforts with Aluko in particular having three great opportunities to score. Seeing stats like that one does not exactly fill you with confidence as a Reading fan - everyone knows you need to score goals to win but how are you going to do that if you can barely hit the target?
Hard to beat?
On a more positive note, Reading have only lost one game in their last five fixtures, coming against league leaders Wolves, which you can only hope bodes well going forward. Even though performances like the one on Saturday will not inspire confidence, all it takes is a few of these draws to turn into wins and suddenly things will be looking up.
We just need to start taking chances but on paper, wins over Forest and promotion contenders Derby as well as draws against an in-form Bolton and a Sheffield Wednesday side that seems to always end up in the play-offs in recent years is pretty good form.
Reading’s Italian ‘keeper returned to the Royals starting XI on Saturday after missing the midweek 2-2 draw with Bolton. Mannone’s absence from that game baffled many fans who were left wondering if the Italian was injured or simply being rested.
However, Mannone revealed he missed the Bolton game after flying back home to be with his mother who had suffered a stroke. He told BBC Radio Berkshire:
"She is delicate. She is fighting for her life and we all hope she can recover now and make it through.
"I have organised myself to go back to Italy again after the Sunderland game next Saturday, as we then have 10 days before the next game. And I hope to find her in a different position."
Kermorgant off the pace
Last year’s 19 goal season for Yann Kermorgant was outstanding and a huge part of why the Royals made it all the way to the play-off final. Unfortunately, the 36-year-old has been blighted by injury this season, only making his second start against Sheffield Wednesday to go with a handful of substitute appearances.
The lack of minutes on the field showed on Saturday as, while he did put in the usual shift, the Frenchman barely had a chance on goal and was subbed off for Bodvarsson in the 72nd minute. Reading desperately need the Kermorgant of last season, as illustrated by the ‘wayward shooting’ stat earlier, so hopefully the more minutes he plays the better he will get.
Here’s hoping eh?