Despite Nottingham Forest’s result against Barnsley on Tuesday night, leading many fans to say a point will be enough on Saturday, I for one won’t feel quite right unless we do the necessary thing and get all three.
Luckily enough we play a team in Ipswich, where our last six meetings at the Madejski have resulted in wins in our favour every single time. In fact our last defeat at home to the ‘Tractor Boys’ came way back in March 2009 (it feels weird saying that 2009 was way back) where a Jon Stead goal helped rock our automatic promotion hopes in Steve Coppell’s last season.
Since Reading returned to the second tier in 2002, we’ve faced off against Ipswich twenty five times and our form is something to feel quite optimistic about, with the Royals only losing on seven occasions with the aforementioned Stead inspired 1-0 defeat in 2009 coming at home. In that time, we’ve taken 47 points out of a possible 75 against Ipswich, who themselves have won just 27 points from us in that time. Whilst many believe a draw will do us just fine, there’s been just one of those in our last 14 meetings.
Of course, you couldn’t write about our recent history with Ipswich without mentioning ‘that 5-1 win’ in September 2015, which leads me on quite nicely to the subject of this article. Astonishingly just one member of the fourteen who played that day has made any first team appearances for us since January.
If ever you needed reminding of the rapid changing nature of football clubs nowadays, then this is a prime example.
Some may have completely forgotten that this guy is still contracted to the club, having had a pretty solid season at Peterborough on loan, despite only managing seven clean sheets he’s earned himself a solid reputation amongst Posh fans.
A month or two ago you could have fancied him coming back and staking a claim to be our number one next season, however, Vito’s recent form seems to have re-cemented his position as first choice. Bond will probably fancy his chances of first team football at London Road and seek a permanent move.
The only player still getting games today on this list, although there are many fans who wish this wasn’t the case. I for one welcome a player who can at least identify with what Reading FC is about, and it’s healthy to have a constant face in the dressing room.
It will be interesting to see if we’ll see him in a Reading shirt again. Doubtful to play under Clement this season and remains to be seen whether the new manager will take a look at him in the summer or simply move him on.
As astonishing as it seems, yes he did actually manage a start for us, though it seemed as if he was perpetually injured. He actually played in 24 games in all competitions that season, though he was swiftly moved on in the summer.
In his second season at Southend, a popular haunt for ex-Royals, he’s racked up 8 appearances in 2017/18
The scorer of that superb fifth goal that night, Stam publically spoke out about how he wished he could have kept him, but he never managed a league match under the Dutchman. Having joined Brighton in the summer of 2016, he made 33 league appearances for the Seagulls last season, though the vast majority were short cameos off the bench and he never found the net.
Loaned to Fulham where he’s enjoying life a lot better, with five goals in 32 league matches, more than he managed in two seasons for us, it felt like he was with us a lot longer such was the impression he made at the Mad Stad.
How we’ve missed him this season. With any luck he’ll return and provide the security at left back that we’ve craved ever since he was ruled out for twelve months.
A couple of friends saw him outside Hillsborough on the weekend and he gladly stopped for a chat, he told them he was packing it in at the end of the season, a real shame.
If anything makes me think of a waste of talent it's Tish. He played just eight times for Aston Villa last season before being moved on loan to Forest and MK Dons that season.
He's somehow ended up at Kilmarnock of all places, which must have something to do with Steve Clarke. If he’d stayed with us it’s quite probable he’d still be in the first team today.
Everyone’s favourite ex-Reading player... unlike Tshibola’s demise since moving on, Blackman’s is actually quite amusing.
Unfortunately he believed the hype around him a little too much and believed he’d make it at Derby after having an extended purple patch that season. Last spotted in Israel plying his trade at Macabi Tel Aviv, need I say anymore?
Continuing the trend of ex-Reading strikers to end up in Tel-Aviv we move on to the Portuguese forward. He scored just once more in a Reading shirt after this hat-trick, he was never the same after elbowing some Derby lad in the face in his next match.
After struggling in Israel he did alright at Standard Liege, notching 26 goals in 50 games, not bad considering. He probably could have got himself a decent move, though he saw the bright lights of Henan Jianye instead lining up alongside another Portuguese could have been Ricardo Vaz te.
I find it amusing picturing those two wandering the streets of a random Chinese city in a confused fashion.
This absolute weapon is only the league’s top scorer this season on twenty goals. That’s almost insulting isn’t it? Considering one of the three league goals he scored for us was with his arse.
Another of the team now at Fulham, and has some weird obsession with us in a bid of desperation to make Fulham fans like him.
The second half of that delightful chant, what a one-season wonder he was. Occasionally seen belting them in from range that season or getting lost in games, though I do miss him a bit now and one transfer rumour last summer hinted at his return.
Wasn’t as appreciated by Wolves last season where he got just two games on loan. Now on loan AGAIN at Deportivo la Coruna but hasn’t scored a goal in any shape or form since that thunderbolt v Bolton away. Would fans want him back given the option?
Scored some kind of big goal for Wales after leaving us, didn’t he? Lived up to his reputation after, an average player who can sometimes do quite brilliant things, which just made him all the more frustrating.
Has scored just five times for the Baggies and faces a season back in the second tier unless he somehow hoodwinks himself another Prem club which he’s quite capable of doing if the manager just looks at the highlights reel his agent has sewn together on Youtube.
Now close your eyes, go back to a dizzying time where we thought a thought anything was possible and that Sa, Vydra and Blackman would tear the Championship a new one. How wrong we would end up being but it’s nice to reminisce for now...