Reading’s 1-0 defeat to Brentford on Saturday made it the Royals’ eighth consecutive Championship fixture without a win since the 3-1 away win against Sunderland nearly two months ago. During that time, Reading have slipped further down the league table and now sit at 18th place with just four points between them and the relegation zone.
Fans had hoped that the midweek FA Cup replay win against Stevenage may inspire some confidence in the side even though it was only against League Two opposition. However, yet another loss in the league means Reading are edging closer and closer towards relegation. Spending next season in League One is very quickly becoming a real proposition.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson began the game as Reading’s lone striker after his midweek hattrick against Stevenage and the Icelandic international had some of Reading’s best chances, going close on at least a couple of occasions. Liam Kelly hit the bar with a freekick and top-scorer Modou Barrow had a great opportunity to score not long before Lasse Vibe gave Brentford the lead.
On the face of it, this Reading performance was better than some of the ones that have been seen in recent weeks and a draw would have been a fair result but the fact it still ended in a loss is indicative of the form Reading are in. In previous seasons one of those chances would have gone in and the fact it didn’t just illustrates the lack of confidence the players have right now. With the next two fixtures being against bottom of the league Burton Albion and a Millwall team that have just five points more than Reading are now key fixtures. Two wins are a must.
Remember when Reading almost signed Lasse Vibe a few years ago? Oh how they must wish they had succeeded. The Danish international has scored four goals in five appearances against the Royals and he has scored 35 goals in two and a half seasons at the club, with 14 strikes in his first season, 15 in his second and six currently this season.
This sort of consistent goal-scoring form is just what Reading need from a forward and this has been constantly highlighted this season. Whether or not Reading can get someone like that in January or even before the start of next season however is a different proposition altogether
Transfers in the works?
Following the defeat to Brentford, manager Jaap Stam suggested that an incoming transfer may happen sooner rather than later, although he did not say who it may be or what position they play. He told GetReading:
“I don’t know how close we are, but there is something possible, I know that. Although it’s not a lot if we’re honest. You’re looking at what players have got the quality to add something to the squad.
"But everybody knows if you want to buy somebody in January, and especially a very good player, it’s going to cost you a lot of money. I need to depend on other people as well.”
On a more sombre note, 19 y.ear-old Reading fan Tom Stead who died on Boxing Day from a rare form of cancer called osteogenic sarcoma was honoured by the club and fans who held a minute’s applause in the 19th minute in his honour. There were also flowers placed on the seat that Tom sat in with his season ticket in a touching tribute from everyone involved.
Tom’s family have set up a page for people to donate to two charities, the Bone Cancer Research Trust and Kamrans Ward, in Tom’s memory. As of writing they have raised over £20,000 and if anyone would like to donate the link to the page is here.