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Luton Town Fans Verdict: Youthful Royals Lose Out To Hatters

How the Loyal Royals reacted to the clubs first loss of the season.

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With the dangling carrot of a next round tie at home to Manchester United, I’m sure there were probably a few fans who were more than surprised to see a grand total of zero of the starting eleven from the win at Derby on Saturday in the match day 18 for Luton Town’s visit on Tuesday night.

However, when you look at it from Paunovic’s point of view - that theory becomes a bit more understandable. Veljko will still be looking at the likes of Aluko, McNulty and Baldock to see if he thinks they are good enough to be in and around the squad this season. Plus, with his experience of nurturing young talent, he’ll want to know what he’s working with when it comes to our academy players.

It was, however, an experiment that failed to pay off with Clarke’s header midway through the first half proving the difference between the two teams on the night.

Reading’s youthful team didn’t do themselves a disservice though, with the likes of Tetek, Holmes and McIntyre all catching the eye of the Loyal Royals. On the other hand, the ‘senior’ pro’s such as Aluko and McNulty flattered to deceive.

Here’s how the fans reacted on twitter after the game...

The need For signings

The old saying goes: if you don’t win, you learn. And if Veljko hadn't learnt by now - which I’m 99% sure he probably had - he definitely learnt on Tuesday night that we are in serious need of some reinforcements.

That was, effectively, our second team that played against Luton - which shows that there is no real strength in depth at this point in time, which I’m sure the club will address before the window shuts.

With rumours circulating on Twitter all the time, it doesn’t look too long before we really get going with our transfer business - and judging by the fans reaction, they want that business to start sooner rather than later...

Disappointing performances

I don’t think there are many that are blaming the nine academy graduates that made an appearance against Luton. But there was a lot of anger at the performances of the senior pros in the starting eleven - most noticeably Sone Aluko, Marc McNulty and Sam Baldock.

It was tricky for McNulty and Baldock in particular as they were asked to play in a position which is by no means they’re most preferred position. However, you do still expect to them to do more - especially when they’re playing with so many inexperienced players.

Going off Twitter after the game, many fans now think that that should be time up for the likes of Baldock, McNulty and Aluko after another drab performance...

The academy players

Although we lost, and the senior players didn’t cover themselves in glory - it was a good chance to see a number of academy players get a run out for the first time (albeit that being more through lack of choice for Paunovic).

17 year-old Dejan Tetek was the man to make his first professional start and he was probably Reading’s best player on the night. He looked more than comfortable in centre midfield. He was positive on the ball, ran at the opposition and looked to play forward whenever he got the ball.

Others such as Holmes, Southwood and McIntyre impressed the fans too, whereas youngsters Sakkey, Melvin-Lambert and Nelson Abbey all got their debuts, too...

Conclusion

Maybe a chance missed to get through the next round, but looking at the bigger picture, this result is not a result that will define our season by any stretch of the imagination. Win against Barnsley and this result will be forgotten very quickly - it should be forgotten quickly anyway in my opinion.

Time to get some reinforcements, bolster the squad depth and really get kicking.

URZ