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Swansea Fans Verdict: Unhappy New Year

Reading fell to a humbling defeat on New Year’s Day at the Madejski, dropping them to five points off safety.

Reading V Swansea City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Another miserable failure to back up a good performance. Reading were very good against QPR, especially in the first half, which filled the fans with optimism heading into the New Year’s Day clash with Swansea City.

That optimism soon vanished though as Reading fell 3-0 down before half-time thanks to some embarrassing defending all round from the Royals and no real cutting-edge going forward.

It’s just plain and simple that the majority of these players aren’t good enough. There needs to be a drastic overhaul in the next month; we need quality over quantity. Swansea were good on Tuesday, but Reading were bad - very bad. Probably the worst performance yet of a disastrous season.

Last year, we were lucky there were three teams worse than us but, with the squad we currently have, we won’t have the same fortune this time around. Jose Manuel Gomes has an absolutely mammoth job on his hands to: 1) Get rid of all the deadwood at the club, 2) Bring in some serious quality, 3) Repair the relationship between the fans and players and 4) Keep us up.

The fans are definitely worried at the ever-growing prospect of League One football next year, and there were some key talking points that got them all talking on social media after the game...

The defending

It just gets worse and worse. The Swansea game just summed this season up. Failure to stay with your man at set pieces, tentative tackling, no game awareness - it was an exhibition in how not to defend.

Without Moore at the back, we’re going to concede goals. Even with him in the team we’re bad, but without him there’s just no leadership or aggression at the back. If I were a striker about to face Reading at the moment, I’d be licking my lips.

Understandably, the fans are just concerned with the shambolic defending, they’re furious. It’s what’s going to take us into League One if it doesn’t get sorted out quickly because there’s at least two or three big defensive errors every game. Here’s what the fans had to say after the game...

The January transfer window

If Gomes and the Reading fans learnt anything from Tuesday’s defeat, it’s that this next month is going to be absolutely massive. If the club fail to get players out and bring quality in, we are destined for League One football.

There’s no out and out goalscorer in this squad, you could argue there hasn’t been since Adam Le Fondre (but Yann Kermorgant might have something to say about that). That needs addressing more than ever.

No real quality out wide, McCleary’s not getting any younger, Mo Barrow’s end product is as frustrating as ever and Sone Aluko, well, what needs saying about the former Fulham man that hasn’t already been said? We need to improve the squad in a lot of areas this month, and the fans are certainly aware of that...

The new gaffer

If there was one positive we could take from Tuesday afternoon, it’s Jose Manuel Gomes. He knows exactly what kind of mess we are in, and what needs to be done to get out of it. His post-match interview were very impressive. He understands that there are players at the club who cannot stay, he understands the size of the task ahead of him and the players, and he understands that the connection between fans and players needs reestablishing.

It could be a very long season in Berkshire, but we have been promised by the 48 year-old Portuguese that nothing like Tuesday afternoon will ever happen again whilst he is still manager - and for some reason I believe him.

His comments after the Swansea match certainly installed confidence in the fanbase that Gomes could be the man to get us out of this mess and hopefully start looking up the table sooner rather than later...

Conclusion

Tough, tough times at the Mad Stad. Hopefully we’ll see a bit of an overhaul over the next few weeks - because we need to. At least up next is an easy away trip to a revitalised Manchester United at Old Trafford...

URZ.