I’m sure there were a lot of fans dreading Wednesday night’s fixture at Millwall. I think it would an overreaction to call it a make-or-break game, but it was the closest we’ve got to that kind of match so far this season.
If we had lost, then the vultures would've started circling and the start we had to the season would’ve more than likely been a long and forgotten memory. However, Pauno and his men managed to get a point from the Lion’s Den.
We may not have performed particularly well, but the most important thing was that we broke this awful losing run we’ve been on recently which, surprisingly, considering how awful we’ve been in the last few years, was our worst losing streak since 2016.
The important thing was the point though, but I'm sure the fans will agree with me in saying that this result needs to be backed up with a win against Bristol City - we do that and the last five games will all be forgotten. Funny how football works isn’t it?
Anyway, here’s how the fans reacted to the key talking points to come from Wednesday evening’s draw...
Every fan wants to see Michael Olise in the starting eleven. The lad is ridiculously talented, and I'm sure will turn into one of our most important players. However, in recent weeks Pauno has opted to leave the youngster on the bench.
The gaffer has preferred to use Semedo in the number 10 role, which has raised a few eyebrows to say the least. And when Semedo was withdrawn at half time for Olise on Wednesday night, the academy graduate more than made his point to the manager.
As soon as he came on, we begun to look a lot more threatening and he even managed to grab an assist - which was an assist that, John Swift aside, no-one else in our squad can provide.
It remains to be seen whether his cameo is enough to persuade Pauno to stick him in the starting eleven on Saturday, but it’s clear to see what the fans opinion is...
Why Olise should start every game. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/Hfkbj0u2Or— Jamie (@dingfcjamie) November 25, 2020
That’s what we’ve need olise on look at the impact #readingfc— Charlie (@charlie_r_17) November 25, 2020
That’s why Olise needs to be playing #readingfc https://t.co/dPe3Ly5U9a— Ed Ryding (@EdRyding) November 25, 2020
Olise has to start. #readingfc— Tristan (@WaltersWears) November 25, 2020
Olise leavin Pauno red faced... #readingfc— Sam Hudspith (@samhudspith24) November 25, 2020
Game was crying out for Olise. Love it. #readingfc— Luke (@Luke_Massey) November 25, 2020
You bring on Olise, he assists. This guy has to start every game. #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) November 25, 2020
Olise has to start next game, and Aluko should start over Ejaria #readingfc— Alex (@LoftyDNB) November 25, 2020
Tom Holmes is proving himself to be a very valuable member of the squad. Whenever called upon, he's looked more than good enough to hold himself in this league.
And, even more impressively, he’s had to prove himself in a completely new position. Holmes is a centre back by trade but been used as a stand in right back more times than not so far this season - and the fans were impressed with him once again.
Personally, he's still our third-choice right back for me, but a very reliable one at that. Here’s what the fans thought about his performance...
The only player that can take any credit for that half is Tom Holmes #readingfc— Dominic (@domwindle) November 25, 2020
Good response in that second half. Olise and Holmes 100% solidified their spot for Saturday. #readingfc— Zac Colón (@ZacLONDON_31) November 25, 2020
I'll take that. Holmes motm #readingfc— Rfcfan (@Harry22659227) November 25, 2020
Impressed with Holmes last night. Olise was class and has to start imo. Rafa came back well as was superb. Big game against BC on Saturday! #readingfc— Henry Knight (@HenryKnight_18) November 26, 2020
First half just not good enough tonight. Olise made big impact after HT. Holmes superb #readingfc— Cam Baker (@cambaker96) November 25, 2020
Holmes best player on the pitch, scrappy game tho. Poor free kick to give away by Rino. Big second half. #readingfc— Joshua Lamb (@lambeyyy1871) November 25, 2020
Take that point all day long. Really impressed with Olise and Holmes in particular there. #readingfc— Jacob Potter (@pott95) November 25, 2020
Stopping the rot
The result was so much more important than the performance. We just needed to stop the rot, because five losses in a row, you'd imagine, would’ve left the confidence of the dressing room in tatters.
But we managed to avoid that worst-case scenario, and the fans were happy to see us get a point on the board for the first time in nearly a month - even if the performance left a lot to be desired.
All eyes have to be on Saturday now, but the fans were happy enough on Twitter with a point at The Den...
We have stopped the rot take a point onwards and upwards urzzzz #readingfc— Johnny Hunt (@Huntyroyal) November 25, 2020
Point for the Royals. I’ll take that ⚽️ #readingfc— Paul Hunsdon (@Hunsy1969) November 25, 2020
Anyway....take the point on the road from a scrappy game, settle things down and try to start building a run of consistent results from here. Solid and steady will do me for a the next few games now, on we go to Saturday #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) November 25, 2020
Important not to lose tonight. Stopped the bad run, point away from home and 5th in the table. Big one on Saturday. #ReadingFC— Alex Sheppard (@Alex_Shep_Urzz) November 25, 2020
Decent result. Game could have gone either way at the end. Still a lot of work to do, but at least the losing streak has come to an end. Hopefully we can continue to move in the right direction by getting 3 points on Saturday #readingfc— Oli Bryant (@OliB_RFC) November 25, 2020
Very solid point away from home, especially after going a goal down on the stroke of HT. Hopefully that stops the rot. Need a good result against Bristol City now #readingfc— joely #BLM (@dingjoely) November 25, 2020
Will take the point - ends the losing streak. #readingfc https://t.co/MOjScjI200— Andy (@Brownie1871) November 25, 2020
Decent away point to stop that losing run. Performance wasn’t good but we needed a result and came from behind to get one.— Jonnie Harris (@jonnieharris99) November 25, 2020
Positives in Joao still scoring, Holmes looking solid & Olise showing why he should start. Now follow this up with a result against Bristol. #ReadingFC
Proud of the players for grabbing that point.— Loyal Royal (@RoyalstilIdie) November 25, 2020
Lots to work on and build.
In the grand scheme of things, this will only be a good result if we win on Saturday afternoon, which makes the Bristol City game the biggest game of our season so far. The players have to get a positive result.
I don't really care how they do it, but we need to get those three points and I have full confidence that the players will get them.
Onwards and upwards. URZ.