Mark Bowen and his team would’ve been coming into the game on Saturday full of confidence after Puscas’ sensational performance last weekend grabbed a brilliant three points. However, that confidence was short lived as Birmingham took all three points back to the Midlands on Saturday afternoon.
The day got off to the worst possible start as, after thinking they would both be back and fit for the game, both Ovie Ejaria and Sam Baldock weren’t even in the matchday squad - which the fans certainly weren’t happy about.
A poor own goal from Michael Morrison, a sensational free kick from Bela and a sucker punch counter attack goal was enough to see off Reading, who were poor pretty much all afternoon - Bowen’s honeymoon period is most definitely over.
And the day just got worse and worse as Reading never got out of first gear and slumped to a poor defeat. The fans were left angry and frustrated at a number of things, and took to Twitter after the game to vent their understandable opinions...
After being lacklustre to say the least for 75 minutes last weekend against Wigan, Bowen surprisingly went with an unchanged eleven for the game against Blues - much to the fans' bemusement.
Star man Ovie Ejaria was also once again nowhere to be seen on the teamsheet even though Bowen’s comments during the week led many to believe Ovie would be back for this game. Key men Swift and Baldock also missed the game injured once again - and the performance showed how badly we need all three of them back as soon as possible.
Here’s how the fans reacted at 2pm when the lineups were announced, and I think it’s fair to say that they weren’t happy...
Why is Meite still there? Rather have Baldock with one leg— Michael Marlow (@MichaelHMarlow) December 7, 2019
Hahahah good one lads, now for the real team— Tom Mitchell (@Tom_1871) December 7, 2019
Start with the team that started playing well last week. Clown.— Max Cruttenden (@maxiebadger) December 7, 2019
Biggest issue with Bowen is his lack of faith in the youngsters. Olise and Barrett should be benchers at least! Especially with injuries to Swift and a not 100% fit Ejaria. Very frustrating. @willow1871 #ReadingFC— Jamie Gorman (@OfficialJGorman) December 7, 2019
Now there is no way that the referee should be used as the prime reason why Reading lost this match - the main reason we lost was our poor performance. But, for far too long now the officiating in the Championship has been really poor and it left a lot to be desired once more on Saturday afternoon.
It cannot be used as an excuse, and referees get stick game in game out for every decision they make - but the man in the middle on Saturday got even more stick than usual both during and after the game.
Rightly or wrongly, the referee was definitely a talking point after the game and the fans were certainly not happy with the referee’s performance - and took to Twitter after the game to show their thoughts...
Literally embarrassed about the referee, even Thaneslink has more consistency than Tim Robinson #ReadingFC— 106 (@cian_paris) December 7, 2019
Outstanding performance by the referee I thought today and I hope he has a safe trip back to Birmingham. #readingfc— Clive Wratten (@Clivewratten) December 7, 2019
very poor referee and not convinced Bowen has a clue either #readingfc— Dave Stacey (@dave_stacey) December 7, 2019
I have no words for this referee, been the worst we’ve had all season. Absolutely abysmal #readingfc— m (@micahrfc19) December 7, 2019
Referee was a disgrace, to not say anything about him would be a joke #ReadingFC— Luke (@gibbsey517) December 7, 2019
Ultimately, how you perform on the pitch decides the result you get more often than not - and that was certainly the case for Reading against Blues. Reading were sloppy in possession, lacked organisation at the back and just generally had a bad day at the office.
It highlighted once again just how vital both John Swift and Ovie Ejaria are to this team, without them we are half the team and lack a lot of creativitiy and guile - the sooner they are back the better.
Hopefully Bowen will eradicate performances like this in the weeks to come, because many more of them and we will begin to slip down the table again. The fans certainly weren’t pleased with what they saw...
Really don’t know what’s worse Readings performance or the refs #Readingfc— Dave McCormack (@davemc_exile) December 7, 2019
Another dire performance. Bowen's team selection all wrong from the off. Shouldn't be losing at home to teams around us. Not good enough. #readingfc— Ben (@BenParsons89) December 7, 2019
Absolutely awful performance.. Bowen got a lot to answer for #readingfc— George Blair (@GeorgeBlairr) December 7, 2019
Not one single player put in any effort today. Embarrassing performance. #ReadingFC— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) December 7, 2019
We made Birmingham look like Man City.. Poor performance, but it happens. Swift & Ejaria massive misses. Still fancy us for midtable #readingfc— Alex Stone (@_alexgstone) December 7, 2019
Very, very disappointing performance from us today. Bowen definitely got his tactics wrong. We always struggle to adapt when we change formation mid-game. We were careless in possession on many occasions and poor defensively. We clearly miss Swift and Ovie. #readingfc— Oli Bryant (@OliB_RFC) December 7, 2019
No way did we deserve to win with a performance like that even if the ref was slightly slow in the head #readingfc— Dom (@Dom_langley14) December 8, 2019
A really, really bad day at the office for Reading. A day to forget and an immediate chance to show a reaction as we travel to Barnsley on Wednesday which is another massive game - let’s just hope that Ovie is back shall we?
Hopefully Bowen and the players learn from their mistakes this time and show us something different in Yorkshire.