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Stoke City Fans Verdict: Frustration At Another Poor Showing

The fans were left angry and frustrated again as Reading’s performance fell well below par against Stoke on Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday night against Barnlsey was bad. The defending was bad, going forward we were bad and just in general - we were very bad. So with that in mind, I’m sure the fans were expecting a bit of a reaction against Stoke City... they didn’t really get it.

Mark Bowen and Liam Moore have come out after the game saying that the performance on the whole was an improvement on the Barnsley match, and the fact that we got a clean sheet and defensively were pretty sound suggests they are right. But ask the majority of the fans if they agree with the gaffer and the captain, and I’m sure you’ll get a resounding “no”.

As supporters, we want to see our team attack, go forward and look dangerous - granted, that can’t always be the case, but we expected a lot more from the players in a creative and attacking sense against the Potters, a lot more.

Zero shots on target from both teams tells the story of what a terrible spectacle it was for every fan - both of the Reading and the Stoke City variety. It is something that needs to be addressed quickly by Bowen - we need to look more dangerous going forward or else we aren’t going to win games.

Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points to come from the match...

Even more injury woes

This can’t be made to be an excuse for the poor performance, but when you have Andy Yiadom, John Swift, George Puscas and Matt Miazga all unable to play due to being injured, your task is going to be a lot harder.

These players need to be back in our team as soon as possible - particularly Swift. His presence was missed more than ever as we just looked devoid of any creativity or any ideas on how to attack.

We all knew about Swift and Yiadom before the Stoke game, and probably were expecting Puscas to be unavailable due to the shoulder injury that forced him off against Barnsley. However, no one was expecting key centre back Miazga to also be injured - and it wasn’t news that went down too well with the Loyal Royals...

Zero shots on target

Yep, you read that right. Reading didn’t manage to force Jack Butland into a save all game. 90 minutes without having a shot that a goalkeeper had to save, in fact we only had three shots all game - and I’m struggling to think of those three.

We need Swift back as soon as physically possible. To be fair, having him on crutches in the middle of the pitch and one leg would have been a better alternative than what we have had in the last three games. The fans were left bored, angry, frustrated and bereft of any enthusiasm after the game thanks to another woeful attacking performance...

A clean sheet

One small, tiny positive to take from the game: we kept a clean sheet. Neutrals and some fans may say that to come away from home to Stoke, on a cold, windy winter afternoon and to pick up a point and a clean sheet is a good thing and a positive.

Some of those fans went on Twitter after the game to express their opinion but I’m afraid to say they were well in the minority - I think that’s a fair thing to say. On the face of it, for those not at the game, it was a good point and something that we can build on. In reality it was one of the drabbest games of football I’ve ever seen...

Conclusion

An afternoon to forget in Stoke - a sentence that I don’t think I’m the first, or will be the last, to say. How good of a result it is all depends on next Saturday. If we lose against Derby County then this looks like a huge missed opportunity and an even poorer performance than it already is.

URZ