Reading’s future is certainly on a knife-edge. Going into the last stretch of the season, we sit just outside the bottom three, perilously close to dropping into League One. How the relegation scrap will turn out is hard to call.
We’ve already got an external view into that scrap by asking opposition fans whether or not they think their teams will stay up. Now though, we want to know what they think of the Royals.
Hard to say. I’ve been surprised by how well-organised you’ve been under Jose Gomes; clearly Emiliano Martinez and Matt Miazga have made positive impacts while Liam Moore’s leadership qualities should play a part as well. That said, you were perhaps a touch fortunate to take six points off Ipswich Town and Wigan Athletic while my xG (expected goals) ratings aren’t especially kind.
Nelson Oliveira’s absence until the last three games means the striker position looks slightly up in the air for now as I see Yakou Meite as an aerial specialist, Modou Barrow has reportedly struggled up top and while Danny Loader is obviously exciting, he’s also a tad raw. I wouldn’t necessarily be quite as confident about the situation as a lot of your fans seem.
The Pie at Night
Teams that can come from 2-0 down in important games have a lot going for them. There may have been a couple of gifts in your goals a couple of weeks back, but the key thing is that you kept going. Put that spirit into the rest of the season and you’ll be a long way to standing up.
I think Reading will be fine - the likes of Yakou Meite and John Swift caused us problems at The Den in December while Emiliano Martinez has been impressive since signing on loan. The experience of John O’Shea in the dressing room will surely be of great benefit to some of the younger players too.
I’d think goals will be harder to come by without Nelson Oliveira but Callum Harriott looks to be performing well since returning from injury and the defence seems to be much sturdier currently.
Reading have shown flashes of potential and invested well in January in my opinion. I have seen worse sides at the New York than Reading this season.
You’ll be fine, provided that Nelson Oliveira comes back and plays a part before the end of the season. It’s certainly a huge blow for you to lose him. Whether you stay up will heavily depend on the form of yourselves, Millwall and Rotherham, but I think you will survive the drop.
The signing of Oliveira was a real boost to your chances, so his injury could be a concern. That said, those late goals to win against us and Wigan were massive given most of the fixtures involving the bottom clubs have ended in draws.
Of the teams who have been around the bottom four for most of the season, I think you probably have the most squad quality, and more importantly trajectory, to survive.
Now you’ve finished this, read the views of these Championship writers on their own clubs: