As far as transfer windows go, the one just gone was pretty good for the Royals - but all eyes were back on the football pitch as the first away day of the season saw Reading travel up to Humberside.
New signings Pele, Lucas Boye and Lucas Joao all made their first starts for the club, coming in for Modou Barrow, Danny Loader and Josh Barrett respectively. Other than that it was the same eleven that started against Wednesday last week.
Virginia; Yiadom, Moore, Miazga, Richards; Rinomhota, Pele; Meite, Swift, Boye, Joao
With the new signings comes new expectations, and Reading fell way short of those in the opening 45. Sloppy passes, no movement and weak in the tackle, Jose Gomes’ men were really poor and got off to the worst possible start with Jarrod Bowen opening the scoring within six minutes.
I never like blaming individuals for conceded goals, but Joao Virigina cannot be beaten from that angle at his near post like that. The second is easily avoidable as well, as Jackson Irvine found himself with the freedom of East Yorkshire to head home from inside the area.
Reading never looked like even creating a half-decent chance, let alone scoring a goal, until Lucas Joao hit the post late on in the first half. Otherwise, you could feel the optimism and excitement disappearing from the travelling contingent the longer the game went on.
We should all keep some perspective and understand it will take time for this team to understand each other due to the huge overload in the summer. However, it is not too much to ask for the players to play with some bite and aggression - both of which were non-existent in the first half.
Gomes said himself after the game that he was angry at the lack of spirit that his team showed for the first 45 minutes, and I’m sure he’s got his message across to the players and it won’t be something we will get used to seeing.
I have no doubt that Jose gave them the old hairdryer treatment at half-time because the first 45 was just unacceptable. It seemed to work well as the second half was the polar opposite to what we had to endure before the break.
Record signing George Puscas was brought on at the interval, and even after only signing on Thursday you can see that this lad has something about him - and something that we’ve been missing. His movement off the ball was fantastic, and he has a bit of fire in him which is more than needed in this league.
Puscas’ introduction kick-started a fightback from the Royals as we started moving the ball a lot quicker with much more movement off the ball, which is when we looked at our most dangerous with Yakou Meite and Puscas getting in behind the Hull City back four.
The upturn in performance got its reward too as Lucas Joao grabbed his first goal for the club with a composed finish to get us within touching distance of our first point of the season.
However, it just wasn’t meant to be. Puscas came close to grabbing his first as well - squandering a one-on-one and crashing an effort off the bar - but he’ll have to wait a little longer for his first in a Reading shirt.
If the first half showed us exactly what we don’t want to see from our team, the second definitely gave us a taster of what this new-look Reading side can offer. It’s a defeat, but it’s only the second game of the season and we all know how long and gruelling Championship seasons are.
I’m sure this team will score a lot of goals and win games. We have the potential to be a very competitive time in this team, just give them time to find their feet and give Gomes time to find his best eleven and I believe we’ll start seeing the fruits of a brilliant transfer window.