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Preston Fans Verdict: Frustration At Second Consecutive Loss

A round up of the fans reaction to Wednesday nights loss to away-day specialists Preston North End. Spoiler: they weren’t happy.

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The season up to last Friday had been full of optimism, excitement and disbelief for us Loyal Royals, with many probably thinking we were in some kind of parallel universe, or maybe even a dream.

Well, the last two games have been anything but a dream, and have brought us thumping back down to earth in true Reading Football Club style. That may be a bit harsh, and a bit of an over exaggeration - but no season supporting this club is complete without more than our fair share of games that make you want to tear your hair out. Wednesday night was one of those games.

Perspective is needed though. We're still top, three points clear in fact, and we did have four of our best, most influential players out injured too. Take four of any team’s best players away from them in this division and I'm sure they’re performances would dip a bit, which ours have done in the last two games.

Still though, the fans have every right to be frustrated after watching their team - Lucas Joao in particular - squander huge chances before witnessing individual errors lead to conceding three goals.

Here’s how the fans reacted to the key talking points...

Tom McIntyre

The academy graduate is the dictionary definition of ‘One of Our Own’. This, I’m sure, makes it very difficult to criticise him for many of us fans. I feel guilty just writing this.

But, at the end of the day, he's just as culpable or open to criticism than any other player, and if any other player had played as poorly as Tom did on Wednesday night, we’d all be criticising them too.

He had a solid enough first half, but it all went down hill for him unfortunately in the second. The giving away of the penalty was quickly followed by a mistake that led to Preston doubling their lead.

Morrison and Moore have set the highest of standards this season, but the backups still need to step up when given the opportunity. Unfortunately McIntyre didn't do that, and the fans were quick to notice this, albeit very reluctantly...

Missed chances

One thing we definitely have been so far this season is clinical. And, ironically, ever since we’ve began to look more threatening going forward overall, we’ve actually ended up starting to lose games.

The game was the definition of what happens when you don’t take your chances in this league. You get punished. We’ve done it to many teams so far this campaign, but on Wednesday it was our turn to be on the receiving end.

I’d be a lot more worried if we’d have lost 3-0 without creating anything, but there are signs it’s starting to really click going forward. However, the fans were left fuming again at the missed chances...

Injuries

On Wednesday we were without our best centre back, our two most creative players and, arguably, our most effective goalscorer. Take those kinds of players out of any team in the world, let alone this division, and your performance is going to suffer a little bit.

You could argue that Meite would've scored the chances Joao missed, Moore would’ve tidied up where McIntyre faltered and Ejaria and/or Swift would’ve provided a moment of magic to get us back in the game.

However, it’s all ifs, buts and maybes now isn't it? One thing is for sure, we are missing those players. And the fans want them back as quickly as possible...

Conclusion

No need to panic, but there are definitely things that Pauno needs to work on. One thing that I haven’t touched on in this is Pauno’s subs, by the way. Which were pretty puzzling to say the least.

One thing I for one learnt above everything else on Wednesday though was the need to get those four players back as soon as physically possible. Moore, Meite, Ejaria and Swift are so important to this team - and you feel their importance twice as much when they’re not there.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. Win on Saturday and all of this will be forgotten...

URZ