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Derby County Fans Verdict: Loyal Royals Lament Poor Loss

A roundup of the fans reaction to Saturday afternoon’s 2-1 loss to the hands of Derby County.

Mark Bowen said during his media duties last week that anything less than a win at Pride Park would be a disappointing result, which seemed a strange thing to say at the time, and even more so now we actually lost the game.

The performance though, for large parts of the game, wasn’t actually too bad. It was a very scrappy game overall, with neither team really playing much silky football, but Reading were solid without doing anything really spectacular - which the fans found quite frustrating.

The only real clear cut goal mouth action I can remember us creating was George Puscas’ chance in the first half which he blazed over and Andy Rinomhota’s consolation goal - which itself was more a fortuitous moment rather than a good bit of football.

If the Royals’ attacking play frustrated the fans, then the levels of defending - particularly in the first half - would’ve made their blood boil. Well, it did make their blood boil.

Bowen’s men ultimately lost the game in the last few minutes of the first half as they conceded two quick fire goals. The first being a good finish from Tom Lawrence before Liam Moore felled Waghorn in the box allowing Rooney to convert from the spot. Another example of Reading’s inability to see out halves of football after the last minute equaliser last week.

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

George Puscas

With Lucas Joao looking like he’ll be out for another period of time, it means Puscas will probably find himself in the starting eleven for the remainder of the season - which he did on Saturday afternoon.

However, the Romanian international didn't have his greatest afternoon. I am a big fan of his, and still think he needs and deserves time to settle into a completely alien league and country - but he did look more than off the pace against the Rams.

It doesn’t help when he's playing in a system which so obviously doesn’t play to his strengths - it’s clear to see for everyone that he needs someone up there alongside him. But he came in for more than a fair bit of criticism from the Reading faithful after the game...

Defensive frailties

Yet again Reading showed lack of concentration; this time it was double trouble as we managed to concede two very poor goals in the last two minutes of the first half.

You would’ve hoped that they may have learned from what happened last week against Stoke, but evidently not as first Lawrence found the back of the net before Rooney planted his penalty into the bottom corner after skipper Moore clumsily tripped Waghorn.

It is something that Bowen needs to have a look at going into the remainder of this season and now looking ahead to next season - with this loss all but ending any slim play off hopes we had.

The fans were left ruing defensive mistakes on social media after the game yet again...

Miazga red card

One of the biggest talking points from the game actually came after the final whistle when Tom Lawrence and Matt Miazga decided to have a scrap on the pitch.

Miazga has been guilty of lashing out before - getting away with a stray elbow in the away game at QPR earlier in the season - and he was more than guilty this time as the replays showed him slapping Lawrence after the Welshman appeared to move his head towards Miazga’s.

Reaction was torn from the fanbase after the game as, after Lawrence’s drink-driving antic’s earlier in the season, it’s fair to say the Welsh winger isn't the most popular player amongst opposition fans.

It is something Miazga has to work on though, how to hold in his aggression. It was a needless red card and might just be his last actions in a Reading shirt...

Conclusion

A poor result for the Royals which means that we are more than likely going to end up in mid table mediocrity. Which is an improvement on the last few seasons but still quite frustrating.

Bowen now needs to turn his attention to next season and trying to take some sort of form or positivity into that.

The small matter of a game against third-place Brentford up next.

URZ