Wow. What. A. Start.
It took us 12 games to rack up three league wins last campaign. It’s taken us three this time out. And, despite Bluebirds’ manager Neil Harris’ comments in the press post-match, we thoroughly deserved to make it three wins out of three on Saturday afternoon.
Liam Moore and Michael Morrison were terrific in defence, Michael Olise and Yakou Meite spun webs around the Cardiff defence all game, and Lucas Joao was, well, he was just Joao. It was a terrific all-round performance, albeit tainted by some injuries to key players - again highlighting the need for reinforcements.
The first two games have been good performances, yes, but they were also against a really poor Derby side and a nine-man Barnsley. The Cardiff game was a proper test of this team’s qualities and character, and they passed with flying colours.
As you can imagine, the fans were in a buoyant mood after the game - it’s not often that we get to celebrate decent starts to a season, so i think we deserve to celebrate this one. The fans were left a bit worried about the squad depth after more injuries, but the overriding emotion was joy...
Although we should be excited that we are top of the league with three wins out of three - and I’m sure we all are - it would be naive not to be at least a little bit worried about our current squad depth, which has been made even shallower with the injuries to John Swift, Felipe Araruna and Joao.
The need for recruitment was clear even before Saturday’s game, but now it’s a necessity. I’m really confident that we will get signings through the door, but if we don’t then there's a high chance that this good start will only be a good start and nothing else.
The fans certainly want new signings, and within their glee at our start to the season is definitely some worry about the current squad depth...
such a big win & huge for the players to hold on like that! just hope the injuries aren’t too serious and we bring in some depth over the next week #readingfc— jord (@_jord19x) September 26, 2020
The injury news from #readingfc recently has me really worried about the depth of this squad and our lack of business so far, need some more capable options in the squad!— James Ebel (@jwebel1) September 26, 2020
Excellent win. Definitely need some more depth. Now concerned going into the next game #readingfc— (@steel_beake) September 26, 2020
Slightly concerning the amount of injuries we have now, let's hope Joao's injury is not too serious. Definitely need to add some squad depth, with a midfielder and a full back in particular. #readingfc— Harrison Mitchell (@harrison1871rfc) September 26, 2020
On a negative note, sorry.— Reading FC Blue And White Wall (@bluewhitewall) September 26, 2020
I am worried that our season will be affected by these injuries. If we lose Joao for a while that could decide if we beat our 106 record or just be another 1st place team.
RB, hopefully we sign Ng or even Gunter.
Riquelme and Obita also.#ReadingFC
So with all the injuries I’d say we need to bring in minimum Perry Ng, Semedo, Riquelme and a target man. #readingfc— Louis Stagg (@dinglouis_) September 26, 2020
With the injuries to Swift, potentially Joao, Araruna and Yiadom. For me we NEED a RB and another target man as the bare minimum this week.— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) September 27, 2020
I wonder if our 3 wins from 3 could help us get some good loan deals from the premier league? Reckon it makes a difference? #ReadingFC
Three out of three!
It’s just so good to see, isn't it? We’ve been subjected to years of despair and disappointment, and yes I know we’re only three games in, but it’s so good to see our team looking down the table rather than up at the teams above us.
It just would’ve been perfect if we’d managed to hold on to a third consecutive clean sheet too but that just wasn't to be. Maybe conceding did us a favour in a weird sort of way too, as the character and fight showed by the players in those last 20 minutes to hold on to all three points was all we ever want to see as Reading fans.
We are top of the league, and the fans are absolutely loving it...
3 wins from 3! certainly didn’t expect that before the season started top of the league #readingfc— Stephen Rennie (@stephen_rennie1) September 26, 2020
It took us 12 league games to get 3 wins last season #readingfc— George (@GS_1871) September 26, 2020
Another fantastic win! 3 games. 6 goals. 3 wins. 2 points clear at the top. Tearing it up ⚪️ #readingfc— Oli Bryant (@OliB_RFC) September 26, 2020
The 3 wins and 9 points are lovely. But the 1 goal conceded so far, and a scramble at that, is just as sweet. #Readingfc— Niall - Reading 106 (@Reading106) September 26, 2020
3 wins out of 3. Off to a flyer, what a time to be alive! However it’s a marathon, not a sprint. I seem to remember Charlton got off to a good start last season. Let’s hope this run continues and we stay at the top for a while. On for 138pts at this rate! @willow1871 #ReadingFC— Sam Spencer-Ades (@SamSpencer001) September 26, 2020
Sometimes you learn more from a performance than from a result, and even though the result was another good one, Pauno will be just as happy with the way his team won the game.
If he was being 100% honest, I’m sure he wouldn't have been completely happy with the performance against Barnsley last time out - before Barnsley got the man sent off, they were by far the better team. However, on Saturday, the overall team performance was what got us the three points. It was great to watch.
The resolve they showed after Cardiff pulled one back too was, for me, just as refreshing as seeing them go 2-0 up with the confidence that they did, and I think the fans agree with me on that...
Today was a massive TEAM effort . Front to back we stood firm. Unfortunate to concede from the corner but the team spirit and togetherness is there. Smaller squad is imperative but must have more quality #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) September 26, 2020
Very impressed with how quickly Paunovic appears to have fostered a dramatically improved team spirit at #readingfc en route to the club's best start to a season for 35 years. Another impressive away win today - hard to envisage them seeing that out over recent years.— George Flood (@GeorgeFlood24) September 27, 2020
Another excellent away performance. Solid again. Rino and Laurent excellent in the middle of the park. #readingfc— Rob Molloy (@Dobchecks) September 26, 2020
What a win. Great performance and brilliant determination to hold on at the end. 3 wins out of 3 and top the league, happy days. #readingfc— Harrison Mitchell (@harrison1871rfc) September 26, 2020
Not only was the performance spot on today, but the fight and will to win showed through to us fans and that’s all we ask for. Exciting times ahead, let’s enjoy it #readingfc— Deckland (@dsaunders_6) September 26, 2020
Great battling performance from #readingfc. Fully deserved their three points but oh so disappointing the injuries. Swift constantly suffers hamstring injuries. I don't understand why because he's not exactly grease lightning. Next week Watford will be tough. Facttttttt— Sir Dodger Royal (@SirDodgerRoyal) September 26, 2020
Cardiff was are first proper test of the season, and a shallow squad without arguably our best player passed it with flying colours. If we can go the first three games with three wins and only conceding one, without any proper recruitment yet - then who knows what we can achieve when new faces start coming through the door.
Onwards and upwards, next up is a tough game against the Hornets.