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Derby County Fans Verdict: Royals Denied At Pride Park

What the supporters made of Reading's defeat to Derby on Twitter.

So Reading will have to wait for back-to-back wins a little longer. There'd been high hopes of a morale-boosting second straight victory at Pride Park, after the 2-0 triumph over Nottingham Forest a week earlier, but the Royals went home empty-handed. An early strike from Duane Holmes was added to by Harry Wilson's deflected effort shortly before the break, but a Sone Aluko goal in the second half couldn't inspire a complete comeback.

On the whole though, the mood seemed to pretty positive on the Reading FC corner of Twitter. Although the first-half performance had left a lot to be desired, the fight shown to get back into the contest later on went down well.

With Harry off this week (the lucky chap's in Barcelona - tough life for some), I've rounded up the reactions to Reading's 2-1 defeat to Derby County.

Andy Rinomhota at right back?

Eyebrows were raised at 2pm on Saturday when the team news came out. Although there was just one change from the Forest line-up, it was a baffling one: Andy Rinomhota shunted to right-back, Andy Yiadom to left-back, and Lewis Baker coming into midfield to partner Leandro Bacuna - Omar Richards missing out.

That decision from Jose Gomes seemed to backfire almost immediately, with Derby County dominating for the opening 15 minutes and taking the early lead through Holmes. Even before the game, reshuffing the back four so that Lewis Baker could play as a deep-lying playmaker didn't go down well on Twitter.

The Sone Aluko-inspired second-half fightback

If Jose Gomes had got it wrong pre-match, his half-time team talk seemed to have done the trick. Reading were much improved after the break and quickly got at Derby, creating chances not long after the restart.

Key to that turnaround was the mightily impressive Sone Aluko, who was brought into the number ten role behind Jon Dadi Bodvarsson. His energy and tenacity (on and off the ball) was eyecatching, and he even capped it off with a cool finish to get Reading back into the game.

Post-match, the feeling seemed to be a mixture of frustration that Reading couldn't get the draw, but also some pleasure at the spirit shown by the team.

BBC Berks' coverage

We don't normally like to talk about other outlets, but BBC Berks' coverage came in for a lot of flak after the Derby defeat. The general feeling among the supporters (not all) was that Reading had played very well in the second half, and the team has on the whole been improving in recent weeks.

However, BBC Berks' take on the match was seen to be overly negative, even if the match had ended in defeat - not to mention the poor first half. A lot of fans on Twitter said just that after the game, while also defending Jose Gomes as he's only had six games so far.

This proved to be one of the biggest talking points around the game - there were a lot of tweets to sift through.

To be fair, Ady Williams (who's pretty active on Twitter) took on the criticism post-match and defended BBC Berks' coverage of the game. He said:

"Tim [Dellor] isn’t anti Gomes, he like me, like you and like most Reading fans wants him to succeed. We both (in my opinion rightly) only ever questioned was he the best man for the job considering his CV. That’s what I believe."

Summary

On the whole, the fanbase seems a lot more positive and unified than it was before Christmas. Jose Gomes appears to have injected some optimism and fight into the team, and that's rubbing off on the fans too, with Twitter feeling like a much happier place than it has done previously.

The team-fan connection was evident at the game itself too, with almost all the away end staying behind to applaud the side (and sing about the manager), despite the result. It's that kind of spirit that I for one really want to see this season, and it could be what helps us avoid relegation. Fingers crossed.