I know you can never really be that frustrated with a point away from home in this league, but after missing the chances we did, I’m sure Pauno will be pulling his hair out - actually I know he will be, going off his verbals on the touchline throughout the 90 minutes.
It was a game we dominated really throughout, but as Pauno said in his post-match media duties, we were far too casual with that dominance in the first half - we have to be more ruthless and clinical in front of goal.
Chris Hughton’s teams are always hard to break down, but there were still moments in the first half that we have to do better with. Early on, Joao found himself in space down the right hand side but blazed over, a bit later on Olise found himself bearing down on the back four only to misplace what looked like a simple pass to Joao, and then the Portuguese striker was involved again when he really should’ve scored from a well-worked corner.
We have to do better with those moments. If we do, we win the game. The fans were left frustrated at those missed chances, and rightly so - but there was praise for a certain individual performance and the return of one of our big, big players...
This was the story of our day really. Summed up perfectly by Pauno’s reaction to Joao’s unbelievable miss in the first half from the cleverly worked corner kick: “TOO F****** CASUAL!” quickly followed by the unmistakable sound of somebody kicking the living daylights out of an advertising hoarding - a reaction that I’m sure was replicated by many loyal Royals watching on from home.
It’s not a bad point when you look back at it; we’re now five points clear of seventh, securing our place in the play-offs (which is now undoubtedly our number one priority) but the players and Pauno will be thinking that the three points were there for the taking if they’d just been a bit more ruthless.
The fans were left frustrated at the lack of composure in front of goal, something we’ve not really been used to seeing from this team throughout this season...
Have to win Wednesday. Hopegully Rinomhota and Ejaria are back for Wednesday. Another point on the board but we can't keep missing chances. Have to be more clinical #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) March 13, 2021
Can’t keep dropping pts in these games really need to start taking our chances #readingfc— . (@Jacobhdgs) March 13, 2021
Two points dropped with those missed chances. Great having Meite back. Go again. Up the Royals. #readingfc— Tom. (@TomWHall) March 13, 2021
Yaks has rescued us there, I’ll take the draw. With the chances we squandered in the first half it should have been more, but a vital point towards the playoff fight nevertheless #readingfc— Ewan Sparrow (@ewan_sparrow) March 13, 2021
I think it’s fair to say the debate between who should start right back in our strongest team is well and truly dead. Andy Yiadom is one of the most consistent performers in the league and walks into our strongest eleven, it’s as simple as that.
He put in yet another performance against Forest that left him as the majority of the fans’ pick for man of the match, and you can’t really blame him. He was a constant attacking outlet, making numerous lung busting runs down the right hand side, but also felt he dealt pretty well with a Forest attack that can be quite tricky to deal with.
An assured performance from our first choice right back - no less than we expect, but one that still got the fans talking...
Another big performance ⚡️— George (@George82179710) March 13, 2021
Yiadom for sure— Ben (@bjturrner) March 13, 2021
Yids was class so I’ll say him.— DINGGGG (@LAUR3N1Dingg) March 13, 2021
In fairness Yiadom has been a real attacking outlet for us down the right too, it's just getting that final pass or touch! #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) March 13, 2021
Top performance baller ⚪️ would love you to hear the Nottingham commentary moaning about you all game. Must mean you were doing a good job— Tom Hamblin (@TomHambo) March 13, 2021
Great to see Meite back, offers something different. Yiadom the pick of the team today #readingfc— Stevie p (@stevie_p1871) March 13, 2021
Return of The Yak
Meite has had more than his fair share of criticism throughout his time in Berkshire: some deserved, some not so. But you just cannot overestimate his importance to this team now. He’s so, so important to the way Pauno wants to play.
With the flair players of Joao, Ejaria, Olise and Swift, we need someone like Meite who can offer us something different. He’s the only player we’ll have who’s willing to make those runs beyond the last man, which opens up the space for the aforementioned players to work their magic. And he’s also clinical in front of goal.
Not only that but he's also a hugely popular member of the team - both with the players and with the fans, and even having him back involved with the team will give the rest of the players a boost.
The fans absolutely adore him, and adore him even more after grabbing us an equaliser in the dying embers on Saturday afternoon...
If Meite stays fit we’re promoted, if he doesn’t we’re not. I think it’s that simple #readingfc— Liam Hiscox (@LiamHiscox) March 13, 2021
Cannot underestimate how important having Yakou Meite back is. Big physical presence, great link up with Joao and brings goals #ReadingFC— Tony Dempster (@DempsterTony) March 13, 2021
If Meite’s fit on Wednesday he has to start. Made such a difference when he came on. #readingfc— Louis Stagg (@dinglouis_) March 13, 2021
A good point in the grand scheme of things - a nice five-point gap has opened up now between us and seventh but this season is by no means over yet. 10 huge games to go and it’s all about keeping that points tally ticking over.
Another big game coming up on Wednesday night against Birmingham City, who seem to be on a bit of a downwards spiral, something we need to capitalise on.