A draw that helped no one
Reading and Bolton have the exact same amount of points with 35, putting them both five points clear of the relegation zone, albeit with Reading having a game in hand due to the Wolves game being postponed because of bad weather.
After games against promotion contenders such as Middlesbrough, Derby and Sheffield United, a game against relegation rivals like Bolton are few and far between with only Sunderland being the other team fighting relegation that the Royals face between now and the end of the season. That fact meant that the Bolton game was huge for Jaap Stam’s side and they really needed a win but in the end a point apiece for both sides doesn’t really help either of them.
Another poor crowd
Only 8,631 fans were in attendance for the Bolton match (484 of whom were away fans) and while it is an increase from the appalling attendance from the Sheffield United game which was only just hit the 6,000 mark, it certainly seems as though one of my predictions from the previous 5 things is coming true already.
Fans are clearly disillusioned with performances, results and just the entire situation right now at the club and as a result are simply not turning up to games. It is a sad state of affairs for a club when its own fans do not even want to go and watch them play but that is the situation right now at Reading and it is one that does not look like it will change any time soon.
The Curious Case Of Pelle Clement
I think it’s fair to say that Pelle Clement’s time at Reading so far hasn’t exactly been a roaring success. Is he a winger? Is he a midfielder? Well he’s apparently now a right-back!
To be fair to Clement he didn’t do too badly in an unfamiliar role but why Stam is playing someone so far out of position in must-win games does little to inspire confidence.
Tom Holmes delivers
Talking of not inspiring confidence, the decision to hand 17-year-old defender Tom Holmes a debut alongside Liam Moore at centre-back was perhaps even more surprising than seeing Clement at right-back. Again, Holmes gave a decent account of himself and it is always good to see young players who have come through the academy playing for the first-team, it goes to show just how bad Reading’s defensive woes are that they have to resort to playing a 17-year-old in their defence.
Obviously captain Paul McShane and Aston Villa loanee Tommy Elphick are still missing due to injury and such has been the bad form of Tyler Blackett and Tiago Ilori that they were dropped for Holmes. As I have said before, it is so surprising that as such a great defender himself, Stam seems to have no way of sorting out such a terrible Reading back line.
Le Fondre scores of course!
In what must have been the least surprising event of the night, Royals favourite Adam Le Fondre scored in his return to the club he spent a season in the Premier League with in 2012-13. Le Fondre clearly enjoyed his return to the Madejski Stadium, posting the following on Twitter after the game.