A few months ago, things looked very dark for Reading Football Club. The team looked destined for League One, while the fanbase was dispirited and divided. Fast-forward a few months, and this feels like a very different club indeed.
It’s mostly, if not entirely, down to Jose Manuel Gomes.
Despite being written off by many as an unknown when he was appointed as Paul Clement’s permanent replacement just before Christmas (perhaps fairly), he’s been a breath of fresh air since. Gomes has restored fight and passion to the first team, performances have improved - and that’s ultimately paid off with better results and, ultimately, safety from relegation.
Dropping into League One felt like a stark possibility in December 2018. Although the nagging doubt never properly went away until Saturday’s set of results (cheers West Brom!), we got there in the end. Failing to secure safety would have been disastrous for this club, so Gomes’ impact can’t be understated.
Sunday’s season finale against Birmingham City is the perfect opportunity to show our thanks
By now, you may well have heard of Portugal Day. If not, it’s a fan-driven idea to properly honour Jose Manuel Gomes.
In the spirit of Ginger Day, Orange Day, and other occasions, Sunday’s match at home to Birmingham City (12.30pm kick-off) will come with the theme of Jose Gomes’ home country. To take part, simply come dressed in maroon and/or green, bring along a Portugal flag, or do anything else you can think of.
It’ll be a great way of continuing the positivity we’ve rediscovered at the club over the last few months and making sure it carries on as long as possible. Jose’s been a key part of that, and he deserves to be properly thanked for it.