A snowy trip to the north-west saw Reading face one of their relegation rivals in a classic six-pointer. Fielding three of the new signings, actually we started brightly, although Martinez on his debut seemed to be determined to give the Reading fans a minor heart attack with some laid-back short game passing to his defenders.
You have to say on the whole Reading played some decent football, mixed with a couple of questionable passes in the first half, but we did look to go forward and feed an impressive Oliveira in this period.
In reality we should have gone into the second half leading the Trotters, but in true Reading fashion we didn’t maximise the opportunities with a particularly impressive miss from Swift, who continued to have excellent spells and periods when he looked – well, rubbish.
When the goal came it was via an enterprising run into the box from McCleary who got ‘tapped’ by Hobbs. Yeah it was soft but at this stage in the season we will take it. What was looking like a decent three points were ripped out of the team in the dying seconds (AGAIN) with Hobbs going from villain to hero with a stoppage time equaliser.
It seems from the Bolton perspective that Parky has lost the fans. All the tweets were about him, his tactics and the subbing of their golden boy Luca Connell, who by all accounts doesn’t even have a pro contract (you might as well say bye bye now to him, #BWFC fans).
Yep the social is pretty much about one of Reading’s heroes and one that a lot of fans wanted as a manager to replace Paul Clement. Makes you think...
That’s an ouch for Parky
The time to stop defending Parky purely for this current situation was months ago. He just isn’t a competent manager at this level. Too often out of his depth. #bwfc— Liam Hatton (@liamhatton) January 30, 2019
Oh Reading fans know this feeling
Last night was the most toxic I've ever seen at #bwfc. I even dreamt of the situation getting worse at least three times last night. It's shocking how worrying it is. Rotten from top to bottom. The sooner we change the owner and manager, the better.— David Figgins (@davidfiggins) January 30, 2019
You wanna see some of the calls we have had this season!
Seriously how is that a penalty?! #BWFC pic.twitter.com/jIWUwyGsZO— Marcus Harrison (@marcus_bwfc) January 29, 2019
Oh that’s just harsh!
Tactical aid unit just turned up for Parkinson #bwfc pic.twitter.com/WsZH7koBKe— Nathan (@sinnott1808) January 29, 2019
Ha! You do have a point
“Let Me Entertain You” blaring out. Nobody can accuse us of lacking a sense of humour. #BWFC— Matt Lawton (@LeytherMatt) January 29, 2019
Yeah thanks Bolton not like I wanted to watch the game or anything
Classic Bolton at the moment. Absolute shambles of a club #BWFC https://t.co/OIfN6tsJvT— Rob Latham (@robilaz) January 29, 2019
Not a huge amount as you would expect. A trip around the media sees the Daily Mail make it sound like a really good game with their report, also making reference to Parky’s relationship with the fans, right until he subbed Connell.
The Bolton Evening News paint a different story, again focusing on Connell, but also comparing Wheater to Beckenbaur which is a little bizzare. They also pass comment on Martinez playing around in his area, saying that this had the Royals fans gasping – understatement of the year…
New one for you – the Charlotte Observer in the US pick up Miazga playing, they don’t say much but hey it’s coverage. There’s a big focus for the signings from Football.London as you would expect on the new boys, and as always Jonathan Low has a round up of the game.
The BBC carry more interviews with the managers than reports of the game, however they say we are indebted to Martinez for keeping us in the game... really? Finally, the usual video coverage from SkySports (which is a pity as they wanted to show the game).
Right we have changed players and changed manager, but can we please change the mental attitude of this team as well? 29 games in, and in six games teams have scored late goals to either beat us or draw with us. That’s 20.69% of the games we have thrown away points. That’s the difference between relegation and mid-table!
Ok, so back to reality. Gomes is making a huge difference and the players he has managed to bring to Reading - and a dogfight at the bottom of the table - have all looked decent. Particularly Oliveira who looked a different class - just imagine if we had signed him a couple of seasons ago when we first were after him!
I was slightly concerned by the play of Martinez in goal, although he seemed to be calm he nearly got caught out a couple of times, but this style suits him. I think we need a little bit of patience as this style is not something that will click overnight – so be ready for some nervy moments.
We have 19 cup finals left - 19 games to secure our future. Personally, I like the direction we’re going in. Gomes has recruited well and has stamped his authority on this team. I do however still think we have a weakness at left-back and this was highlighted against Bolton, with Yiadom playing there and Gunter at right-back.
I know a lot of fans will point to Richards playing there but he has never filled with me massive confidence, don’t get me wrong he will be a decent player, just not yet. Going forward he is good, really good. However, he’s a left back - that means defence and this I feel is the weaker part of his game. I don’t think we realised just how bad Obita being injured would be, and if we really want to be solid this year, we need to have an experienced player in that position.
The draw against Bolton was disappointing, frustrating even, but there were signs of positivity. We have to take this into Saturday and get a result against Villa. This is perfectly doable, we just need to keep the faith and get behind the team!