There have certainly been improvements in recent weeks, both in terms of performances and results. Put aside the farce of the FA Cup game against Eastleigh and we’d had back-to-back wins in the league and made it through to the next round of the Papa John’s Delivery Vehicle Cup.
Those improvements were put into a bit of perspective on Saturday. We’re still a long way off where we need to be and, once again, came up against a better-drilled, more street-smart team.
It was a decent first-half performance, but we crumbled a bit in the second and had costly errors punished by the visitors.
Here’s how the fans reacted...
The game itself
Look, we've definitely seen worse performances haven’t we? It was by no means a catastrophe, we just didn’t have that final quality to capitalise on some good periods, and we made some costly errors that got punished.
Ultimately though, it’s another loss. And at the moment it’s wins we need more than anything at this stage. The fans were a bit torn post-match: some feeling it wasn’t good enough again, some seeing some positives, and all agreeing that we need wins...
Can’t fault the performance. Didn’t take the opportunities that fell for us.. Barnsley just have more quality. Another tough lesson for a young squad. #readingfc— Alex Stone (@alexgstone15) December 9, 2023
Just not good enough lads! Gotta make more of the first half performance and the subs in the last ten minutes didn’t help! Selles please just go! ♂️ #readingfc @readingfc #SellBeforeWeDai https://t.co/OaTqmwxgFH— James (@B3rt1e) December 9, 2023
Decent performance today and game compared to some of the dross this season. We were positive, but just lacked quality with the final ball and were beaten by a moment of quality. Selles subbing the left back again shows he’s a clown #readingfc— Paul Towner (@PaulTowner7) December 9, 2023
I'm quietly getting confident we will have enough to survive. Performances have improved. I don't think we was that bad today and draw would of been fair. But I can't hide the fact that I do also believe Selles cost us getting anything out of the game with sub choices. #readingfc— Royal. #SBWD (@SJM1871) December 9, 2023
Think my take on yesterday is different to some. Overall a relatively encouraging performance without a clinical edge. Subs were fine, Mukairu did little and we've all been crying out for Vickers. Needed more pace in def so brought on Mbengue. Then they smash one in #readingfc— ReadingBetweenTheLines (@ReadingBTL) December 10, 2023
Really disappointing result. A far more positive game for the most part, but didn’t take our chances and were sloppy in defence.— Arnie (@arnie_rfc) December 9, 2023
Was our chance to make a climb out the relegation zone. Not the confidence boost we wanted before Oxford. #readingfc
Reflecting on yesterday’s result #readingfc definitely need to be more clinical and focused in front of the goal. If they were we would have won!!— Gareth Price (@PriceGareth) December 10, 2023
Thoughts on yesterday: we dominated in periods but still lacked a cutting edge up front. Got ourselves into threatening positions but so many chances went begging. Azeez was good. Defence switched off a couple of times and we were punished. Mola actually did okay! #readingfc— Paolo (@Skeptichead) December 10, 2023
Amount of chances we had on the cut back we should of been scoring more than 1, don't take the chances we will always get punished #readingfc— Todd-ED (@TED247) December 9, 2023
He’s had a bit of respite in recent weeks, and by that I mean the heat on him hasn’t been as intense as it had been in the previous few weeks and months.
However, yet another loss in the league got people asking questions again. It was another game where some decisions from Selles raised the eyebrows of a few supporters, and ultimately the product we saw on the pitch didn’t really reflect a team that is well oiled, well drilled and know exactly what they need to do and when to do it.
I think it’s fair to say that the vast majority of the fanbase don’t think Selles is the right man for the job anymore...
Wales international Charlie Savage doesn’t start for #ReadingFC. Cameroon international Ben Elliott doesn’t start for Reading. Real Madrid target Caylan Vickers doesn’t start for Reading. Ruben Selles ladies and gentlemen.— Super Kevin Bremner (@skb777) December 9, 2023
Selles has lost more than half of all the games he’s been a manager. He is out of his depth and always has been. #readingfc— Paolo (@Skeptichead) December 9, 2023
see a lot of #readingfc fans saying selles has to go. #readingfc can’t afford to pay staff wages let alone pay the manager out of his contract…and even if they did, who can they bring in? I 100% agree Reuben is out of his depth but sacking him will do absolutely nothing but bad— jacobcowler (@jacob_cowler) December 9, 2023
Standard Reading. Them substitutions were nearly as questionable as the bloke wanting Gerrard in as boss on @BBCBerkshire . Don’t stop protesting. If the tennis balls don’t work then things need to be ramped up. Selles needs to go. Dai needs to go. #readingfc— smudger (@smujjii87) December 9, 2023
Yes Mola was tiring, but taking him off disrupts the defence, and we end up getting done on the left again anyway FFS. Sellés is out of his depth, seems a nice bloke, but he's not a good football manager. Let's be honest he shouldn't have been here in the first place. #readingfc— Milo (@MiloRoyal1871) December 9, 2023
Surely Selles is gone now , this squad has quality but the results are shocking . The management at Reading FC is less use than a Primark bag in the Rain , club we loved is slowly a distant memory #readingfc— Olly_URZ (@OllyURZ) December 9, 2023
A game that almost threatened to be entertaining at times and two sides that were pretty even for the most part. Then Selles’ usual pointless substitutions turned the tide. I honestly can’t see what he’s trying to do with our style of play or the changes he makes. #readingfc— Matt Williams (@mattwilliams100) December 9, 2023
If the takeover continues to stall, we have to give ourselves the best chance of staying in this league: Selles needs to be go asap. With him in charge, we are going to slip further from safety. Didn’t think I’d be saying this 12 months ago, but we have to stay in L1 #readingfc— Ben Thomas (@mrblthomas) December 9, 2023
Poor substitutions cost us that game imo, it was there for the taking and Selles bottled it #readingfc— Tom (@tomrfc95) December 9, 2023
Simply nobody else to blame than Ruben Selles today #readingfc— Cameron #DaiOut (@ronniemac93) December 9, 2023
Another really disappointing and frustrating afternoon all in all. Yes, the performance was better - but we need to start leaving games with three more points than we arrived at them with, that's the fact of the matter.
What's actually happening on the pitch at the moment all seems a bit secondary at the moment, but we are in serious, serious danger of back-to-back relegations here - which would be catastrophic.