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Blackburn Rovers Fans Verdict: Final Away Day Ends In Defeat

A summary of the Reading fans’ reaction to the 4-3 loss against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Reading v Middlesbrough - Madejski Stadium

`A game that truly summed up Reading’s season - some more than dodgy defending, a piece of magic from John Swift, showed character to get back into the game, and then ultimately the disappointment at the end.

Brereton opened the scoring after two minutes thanks to some calamitous defending, and then it got worse before it got any better as four minutes later Adam Armstrong doubled the hosts’ lead. Swifty then did what Swifty does with an inch perfect free kick before the break to give Bowen’s men a slither of hope.

Moore then deflected a Rothwell shot past the helpless Rafael, before super sub Sam Baldock came on and not only scored to get it back to 3-2 but also assisted Yakou Meite’s equaliser as the players decided to turn up the gas a bit.

But, like we should all be used to by now, as we started looking the more dangerous and the more likely to win - Blackburn hit us with a sucker punch and ran out eventual 4-3 winners. Like I said, it was just 90 minutes that encapsulated every emotion us fans have felt this season. Anger, frustration, promise, hope and then disappointment all rolled into one.

Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points to come from the game..

Defending

As the attackers have continued to disappoint this season, ever since Bowen came in you can't argue against the fact that we have become a better defensive side under his reign - however, we were very, very bad at the back on Saturday.

Within 6 minutes, we’d conceded two goals with some horror show defending and then in the second half it didn't get any better - with Moore heading a shot past Rafael, and then Gallagher jumping higher than Obita to head home the winner.

It really wasn't great from the Royals, and another sign of the overhaul that is needed at the club this summer. The fans certainly were not impressed...

Bowen’s future

The loss on Saturday sparked conversation between the Reading fans about whether Mark Bowen is the man to take Reading in the right direction.

Saturday was another more than lacklustre performance, and it isn't the first time that we’ve seen those kinds of showing from Bowen’s team. When we win, it’s great and everyone is happy - as they should be. However, when we are losing, Bowen’s style of play can be a painful watch.

In fairness, I think the Blackburn loss was more down to individual mistakes and players individual performances rather than Bowen’s tactics - even though bringing Osho on for Swift when you’re chasing a winner was a bit of a head scratching substitute.

The reaction was certainly mixed when it came to discussing Bowen’s future on twitter...

Baldock’s post-match interview

Sam Baldock’s career at Reading has been a turbulent one to say the least. Signed for a reported hefty fee from Brighton, before becoming one of the players Gomes eradicated from first team plans, and then finding himself back in the frame under Mark Bowen.

Anyone who has been through as much as Baldock has in the last two years probably has quite a lot to say on the matter - and he opened up quite a bit after the game when he was interviewed by Tim Dellor on BBC Berkshire.

Baldock eluded - without really going into any detail - to the club being a bit of a mess behind the scenes. We know that it used to be a mess under the tenure of Ron Gourlay and Gianluca Nani - but with a senior player such as Baldock coming out and saying things like that in the media, it certainly got the alarm bells ringing for some of the Loyal Royals.

As Bowen did in his interview, Baldock confirmed that a lot of changes are probably going to happen this summer, which is exactly what we need - but how many seasons on the bounce have we said that now?

Here’s what the fans had to say about the controversial Baldock interview...

Conclusion

The game that confirmed what we all know: there's going to be huge changes this summer.

Expect to see a huge overturn of players, with most if not all of the out of contract players heading out the door - potentially alongside some of the top earners too.

I still think Bowen will be given the summer to build his own team as much as he can, and hopefully we can just put to bed what has been a bit of a roller coaster season.

URZ