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Blackpool Fans Verdict: Professional Performance From Royal Youngsters

How the fans reacted to some of the key talking points that came from Reading’s third-round replay win against the Seasiders.

I think we all expected Mark Bowen to mix it up on Tuesday evening for the trip up to Blackpool - as he did 10 days ago at the Mad Stad. The Royals lined up with eight academy graduates in the starting eleven against Blackpool, which included the entire back four - who were all very impressive in keeping a clean sheet.

This match was really all about the youngsters. Michael Olise was silky and smooth in midfield as he claimed an assist for Jordan Obita’s late goal, Tom McIntyre and Andre Burley were immense at the back, thwarting the dangerous Blackpool front line, and the two full backs were both sound defensively and threats going forward throughout.

All fans love seeing some of their own out playing on the pitch, and they love it even more when they put in a performance and a result that: a) gets the team into the next round of the cup b) continues the first-team’s unbeaten run and c) makes an incredibly long midweek trip to Blackpool worth it.

Here’s what the fans were saying after the game on Twitter regarding some of the key talking points...

Impressive youngsters

This really was the thing that got the fans talking the most after the game - and quite rightly so. The team was very similar to the one that failed to deliver in the reverse tie, but they didn’t make the same mistake twice as a team packed full of academy players looked more than comfortable going toe-to-toe with a very good League One outfit.

Furthermore, Jeriel Dorsett became the 56th Royal to make the step up from the academy into the first team as he replaced fellow under-23 centre back Andre Burley in the latter stages.

It was great to see that we have an academy packed full of players who are able to make that jump into professional football, and the fans are certainly happy about that...

Nine unbeaten

For the first time since 2012, Reading are now unbeaten in nine games in all competitions - anybody know what happened that year?

All tongue-in-cheek statements aside, that achievement is a true testament to the work that Bowen is doing with this squad - and hats off to him. The players look hungrier than we have seen them in a long time, and it tells you something when he can make 11 changes to an in-form team and still manage to get the win.

The fans are certainly enjoying this run of form and long may it continue...

Dreaming of Wembley

The win on Tuesday night had the fans dreaming of a trip to Wembley - as does every single win in a cup competition.

Yes, it was only the third-round replay. Yes, the win was against a lower league team. But that was never going to stop the Loyal Royals from looking forward to May 23 - albeit with their tongue firmly lodged in their cheeks.

Here’s what the fans were saying regarding the possibility of another cup run and another ‘March to the Arch’...

Conclusion

A truly professional performance, continuing an unbeaten run and seeing us through to the next round of the greatest cup competition in the world - do Tuesday evenings in Blackpool get much better than that?

Millwall up next in the league in front of what’s going to be a decent away following.

Onwards and upwards.

URZ