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QPR Fans Verdict: Royals Battle For A Point

Reading came from behind twice to earn a brilliant point against high flying QPR in Mark Bowen’s second game in charge. Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points to come from the game.

Coming off the back of a brilliant result and last-gasp winner against Preston North End on Saturday, the players would’ve come into Tuesday night’s game in West London with a new-found confidence.

They certainly showed that confidence with a brilliant first-half performance in which they controlled the majority of the game, with Ovie Ejaria and John Swift dictating the game as so often has been the case this season.

The players matched their quality on the ball with intensity and pressure off it. Sam Baldock and George Puscas pressed well from the front with the ever-energetic Andy Rinomhota and Ejaria backing them up from midfield. Mark Bowen has said how he wants to make us a ‘nasty team’ to play against, and we’re certainly beginning to see that.

A good performance was rewarded with a very good point as Puscas broke his goal drought with a beautiful finish - after Ovie Ejaria did some Ovie Ejaria things - and Baldock marked his return to the starting eleven with a deserved goal too.

Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points to come from a scrappy, nitty, gritty point on the road...

The forgotten men

The introduction of Bowen and the sacking of Jose Gomes has allowed certain players to re-enter the first team scene. Baldock made his first start since April on Tuesday evening, and Garath McCleary - who among others had been banished to the under-23s - also made a return to the first team off the subs bench.

Baldock was very impressive against QPR, never giving the Rangers defence the time to rest or relax on the ball and hassling them for 90 minutes. He linked up well with Puscas and there are definitely signs there of a decent partnership forming.

McCleary came on for Rinomhota as Reading tried to chase the game after going 2-1 down and, to be honest, he looked a threat. McCleary appeared to be in as good shape as I have ever seen while he’s been at Reading, and there is no doubt that he offers something a little different and more dynamic to the team when he plays.

Here’s how the fans reacted on Twitter to the performances of the two so-called ‘forgotten men’...

Ovie Ejaria

Pffft, what more can we say? He’s just a bit good at football, isn’t he?

Once again, Ejaria was head and shoulders above everybody else on the pitch on Tuesday night. Watching him play football is just a delight.

One thing he has been criticised for is his lack of goal involvement - but he proved those critics wrong against QPR with a wonderful assist to set Puscas through on goal, before zig-zagging his way past a couple of defenders to play a key part in Baldock’s equaliser.

Ever since he rejoined from Liverpool on deadline day, he has been unplayable - and I don’t think there is another player in the league that has the natural skill and footwork of Ovie.

Another wonderful performance which, of course, pleased the Reading fans no end after the game...

Fighting spirit

Reading showed a side to them on Tuesday night that we haven’t seen often all season - in fact, we haven’t seen it for a very long time. We looked like a nasty team (maybe taken too far sometimes *cough* Matt Miazga *cough*) and a team that wasn’t easy to break down or play against.

And that is something that certainly pleased the fans post match on social media, and rightly so. Bowen said it after the Preston game: we, for far too long, have been too easy to play against. But against QPR, and against Preston on Saturday, we were the complete opposite.

Our performance and attitude was rewarded with a well-deserved point. If we can continue to be tough and no-nonsense at the back and then getting Ejaria and Swift on the ball in dangerous areas further up the pitch - then I think that’s a recipe for success...

Conclusion

Another good performance and another good result for the team and Bowen. The fans are happy and long may it continue. We look nastier, more dogged and more determined so far under Bowen and that is something that the fans love - as shown by the reaction after the game against QPR.

A huge game on Saturday against another team at the top end of the table, but if we play like we have done in the last two games - with a bit of guts and fight, paired with the quality of Puscas, Ejaria and Swift - we have a good chance of a result.

URZ