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Wigan Fans Verdict: Royals Outfought by Relegation-Threatened Latics

How the fans reacted to one of the worst performances Reading have put in for a very long time. They really weren’t happy...

There are not enough negative adjectives in the English dictionary to describe the shocking performance that we had to endure on Wednesday night at home to Wigan Athletic. The players were outfought, ou tthought and just second best in every single way - and that’s being polite.

From the get go, the players just didn’t look interested - the passing was slow and pedestrian, there was no quality on the ball and the tactics chosen by Mark Bowen just played right into the hands of Wigan, who didn’t have to get out of third gear all night.

Wigan will say they played well and put in a good performance, but I - and I'm sure the majority of the Loyal Royals will agree with me on this one - don’t think they did, because they didn’t have to. It was a throwback to the Paul Clement era where teams would turn up, play a nice game of football and travel back home with three points - an era I genuinely thought had long gone, but apparently not.

Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points - and trust me, it was incredibly hard to stick to the family friendly guidelines for this one...

Lack of fight

We don’t ask for much as fans - just work hard, get stuck in and leave everything you have on the pitch and, on the most part, the players have given us that since Bowen took over. However, we got given the complete opposite on Wednesday evening.

The players didn’t look bothered, they didn’t fight and the defending and attitude for the third goal was truly horrendous. Liam Moore, who I thought before the Wigan game was someone you could always rely on to give 100%, jogging back at snail speed was horrible to watch.

The fans were fuming with the application of the players, and quite rightly so, it was just unacceptable...

Bowen’s Tactics

To cut a long story short, they weren’t great.

4-4-2 just does not suit this team, and having played our best football this season playing 4-2-3-1 I cannot for the life of figure out why Bowen made the switch.

Bowen is evidently a good coach, he’s been in the game 20 years so knows his stuff. But he definitely showed inexperience as a number one against the Latics.

The players were pathetic and embarrassing, but Bowen’s decisions were nearly as bad. He stated after the game Puscas shouldn’t have been on the bench due to an injury - so surely a fully fit McCleary, Loader or even Thierry Nevers is a better option than an unfit striker who didn’t come on when we were chasing the game?

Bowen certainly wasn’t a popular man on the Reading FC hashtag after the game...

Another relegation fight?

Tim Dellor made a great point on BBC Berkshire, and I don’t say that a lot. He stated to Bowen that if we were five points off the top six then he would be saying we have every chance of making them, so surely now we’re five points off relegation he must be looking over his shoulder?

The horror show left us now five points above the drop, and makes Barnsley at home on Saturday an absolutely huge game - but can we trust the players to react after seeing that absolute shambles?

The fans are certainly beginning to fear the worst. I’m sure we all thought our relegation fight days were over - but we might be wrong about that...


I’ve been following Reading up and down the country now for near enough 10 years and I cannot remember a more hopeless, hapless, pathetic performance than what I, and the rest of the fans, paid their hard-earned money to watch against Wigan.

Bowen has a big job on his hands. Five points is still a decent gap, but we are on a downwards trajectory and now looking down the table rather than up it.

The players need to sort their act out too - and sharpish.