It’s been a difficult few games - the Royals travelled to the south coast on the back of a somewhat frustrating defeat at Huddersfield, when by all accounts a point would have been a been a fair result.
In the last few years, Brighton have looked to be on the march to the Promised Land, before falling away at the end of the season. This year's version of Brighton looks to have a bit more about it and to be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the Championship.
Saying that, Brighton played some clinical counter-attacking football, and goals came from Reading being careless when in attack. Of course, the Reading fans after the game went into meltdown, but we have to put a common sense check on this. There is no doubt that Reading have over-achieved this year and that Brighton might have finally got rid of their 'bottlers' tag.
I look at this defeat as to what it was, a clinical side soaking up pressure and Reading being unable to find that rhythm that has seen them pull results out of the bag.
One other point is our January signings who were meant to come in and give us a boost. From what I have seen and can comment on, Mutch looks lost, Grabban needs some form and Popa has had hardly any game time. Maybe once they have settled in we will see some improvement, but I can’t see any of the January signings being better than what we previously had, so the question has to be why we did bring them here?
Anyway, back to Brighton and the fans' views below.
We may be ordinary, but hey - who's counting to 106?
Thought we made Reading look ordinary, but then I have always thought they were ordinary! #bhafc— Sandra Hunter (@SandraHunter9) 25 February 2017
Can't really argue with this...
Be careful what you wish for
Maybe a bit of both
This could be accurate
Not much any other team can do against a clinical display like that. Missing out on promotion was great for #bhafc Onwards and upwards.— Matthew Allen (@Mr_Mallen) 25 February 2017
A little harsh
Oops, how did this work out for you?
So, being on the box does have its advantages and there is a bit of coverage for us. Starting with the Daily Star, they carry snippets of all the games and focus on Jamie Murphy saying that they have no fear for Newcastle after dispatching Reading (oops). It also looks like the Independent reporter dived out early as they give the result in the write-up as a 2-0 win for the Seagulls.
The Guardian are a little nicer to us, saying that it wasn’t one-way traffic, with Stockdale pulling off a couple of good saves and Reading having a goal line clearance.
Over at the Daily Mail and they aren’t as charitable, saying that it was a convincing win and that this defeat sorely damaged our Playoff hopes!
On the national media side, Sky Sports have a rather disappointing 3 minutes 8 seconds of highlights but at least this week you get commentary! They also agree with the Mail that it was a convincing defeat for Reading.
The BBC are back to their neutral self, and comment that it was a quiet opening period before sparking into life.
In the local press, Jonathan Low at GetReading calls it a deserved victory for the Seagulls, saying that we created little and the tempo wasn’t good enough, which actually is a fair reflection.
All in all it’s been a miserable couple of games to be a Royals fan. However, we now have the chance to bounce back in what is a probably a must win against Wolves on Saturday, with Newcastle and Sheffield Wednesday on the horizon.
Stam has been excellent this year, but needs to get some confidence in the side and also figure out what his best starting line-up is. A play-off spot is still in our hands for the lottery at the end of the season, but given the form teams like Fulham are in, we do need to start picking up points against the top sides.
Anyway, onto Saturday and we need to support the team to ensure that we get three precious points!