Reading will try for their first league win since New Year’s Day on Saturday, with Hull City standing in the way. The Tigers sit just one place ahead of the Royals, one point up on our tally of 38, and are having a solid enough season under relatively new manager Grant McCann. To find out more about Hull, we spoke to fan and writer Kathryn Batte, who you can find on Twitter here.
How would you sum up your season so far?
Inconsistent. We started slowly but built up a bit of momentum before Christmas and suddenly a place in the top six seemed like a possibility. But every time we’ve got within touching distance we’ve dropped points and I think that’s what has convinced the owners we won’t be making a promotion push - hence the sale of Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki in January.
What are the main strengths of this Hull City side?
Before deadline day I would have said our wingers - but now we’ve lost our main goal threat we’re looking to other players to step up. We still have some good attacking options in this team - Marcus Maddison is on loan from Peterborough and is looking to make his mark in the division. Herbie Kane and Leo Da Silva are capable of picking a good pass and Tom Eaves will always work hard up front.
And weaknesses for Reading to exploit?
Definitely down the wings. Eric Lichaj has been struggling for form for a while but I can’t see Grant McCann dropping his captain. Reece Burke is also having a poor run - he and Ryan Taffazoli were torn apart by Brentford last weekend and if it’s the same back four then they’re bound to be short of confidence - if I were Mark Bowen I’d be telling his forwards to bully them and get at them straight away
Any young talent that we should look out for in the future?
Keane Lewis-Potter looks a real prospect for us. It’s great to see a local lad wearing the shirt in the first team and he’s already shown he knows where the goal is. The 18-year-old has got two goals from the bench - would have been three but think his last minute equaliser at Charlton went down as an OG. He got his first league start last weekend but not sure if McCann will rotate the team on Saturday.
How will the rest of the season pan out for you?
It sounds a bit pessimistic but I can’t see us making a push for the top end of the table. I think we’ll hang around in mid-table obscurity for the remainder of the season - I’d like to think we’ve got enough in the squad to avoid getting drawn into anything down the bottom of the table but someone else has got to start scoring the goals now!
How do you see the game going, and what will the score be?
You guys are in a similar position to us so it could be a fairly close game. We desperately need to end our run of four straight defeats but I can’t say I’m confident - memories of last season’s 3-0 defeat are still vivid. You’d like to think McCann can get a reaction after last weekend’s performance but I feel the best we can hope for is a draw. I’ll say 1-1 but my head says 2-0 Reading.