Not much really needs to be said in this introduction. We all saw how bad it was on Friday night.
It was a team trying not to lose against a team trying to win. That would be okay if we were coming up against a powerhouse in the cup or travelling to someone like Sheffield United or Burnley. But, with all due respect, we were playing Cardiff City. It’s just unforgivable.
The key talking points are really just how bad we were and how bad Paul Ince was. Here’s what the fans had to say...
It was just horrendous. The majority of the blame has to fall on Paul Ince - and we'll get onto him in a bit - but there also does have to be some accountability on the players.
Cardiff looked like the only team who were going to score from the first whistle to the last. It was like we didn’t even want to score.
The fans were not happy with the 90 minutes they were subjected to and who can blame them?
8 hours round trip for zero shots on target. #readingfc are surely more capable than that performance. My patience for keeping going is really being tested again. Very poor yesterday. Can’t dress that any other way, that team should have produced something better— Dave Roberts (@LaughingLima) February 18, 2023
Terrible performance. Negative tactics time and time again #readingfc— James Grant (@jamesgrant1992) February 17, 2023
It was late coming, but we got exactly what we deserved with that performance. #ReadingFC— M ️tthew (@MaffRoyal) February 17, 2023
Got what we deserved, nothing. Appalling performance. #readingfc— Rob Molloy (@Dobchecks) February 17, 2023
To fans that clap the team after an atrocious performance, why? #readingfc— Tom Maroney (@TomMaroney) February 17, 2023
#readingfc Pathetic game and performance. That should have been 3 points but from kick off, pathetic from Reading— Paul Bearer (@PaulBea36821112) February 17, 2023
Horrible performance. Just get the points required to stay up & end the season. #readingfc— Tom. (@TomWHall) February 17, 2023
Awful performance! Can’t think of many worse showings from #ReadingFC on TV. Apart from Lumley and at times Sarr, I can’t think of anyone who comes out of the game with any credit. That said, our set up and tactics again seemed all wrong and the post match response intriguing!— Paul Hunsdon (@Hunsy1969) February 17, 2023
Back home after that awful performance. Just one more thing Tmac is not a central midfielder and never will be. He was a right passenger this evening, play him at CB where he belongs #readingfc— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) February 18, 2023
Unacceptable performance & result tonight #readingfc— Ewan (@ewan_sparrow) February 17, 2023
The tactics were horrible but the post-match interview was arguably even worse. He set the team up in a way that, realistically, meant we never going to threaten going forward, and the one player that looked like causing problems was hooked after 60 minutes.
After the game, he threw his players under the bus and essentially blamed the tackle that could’ve and maybe should’ve been a red card for the fact that we lost.
The lack of accountability, the tactical limitations and the stubbornness are making it really hard to back Ince at the moment. And the fans are starting tor really lose patience with him now...
He may well achieve his goal (hopefully, assuming we pick up a couple more wins) but he will NEVER be able to take us forward. Ince out! #readingfc— Trenchy (@AdamHumphries96) February 18, 2023
When the manager effectively says he doesn't know how to get any more out of this group of players under the banner of "they're not good enough" then it's time to go. It's your managerial 'skills' that aren't good enough. That's totally on you, Ince. #readingfc— Bobbins (@ohbobbins) February 17, 2023
ince scrambling for excuses before even hearing the end of @TimDellor 's question— ben (@benja32min) February 17, 2023
TD: "everything tonight went to andy carroll's head..."
paul: "listen, it's a friday night!"
comical #ReadingFC pic.twitter.com/8ksM5Sv06f
throwing the players under the bus? that interview? paul ince has lost the plot. that’s the final straw, he needs to go. #inceout #readingfc— CW (@connorr333) February 17, 2023
Paul Ince has zero leadership skills. You don't consistently blame a group of people under your own leadership without taking some responsibility when things don't work out. You certainly don't claim they aren't good enough to succeed. Incredibly poor management #readingfc— Guy Reed (@Guy_Reed) February 17, 2023
All season I've been of the opinion that if Ince keeps us up, he's met his remit and should get a chance next year (even if I don't particularly like that) but I'm past that. Negative football, negative man, and starting to turn into an embarrassment #readingfc https://t.co/b4tYd2G9vI— Matthew Williamson (@Photomattic) February 17, 2023
If I was a player would I run through walls for Ince…no! He’s an excuse merchant who is clueless what to do when things are going wrong, dinosaur tactics of play it long to AC and hope for the best. #ReadingFC— Royals Stu (@RoyalStu1871) February 17, 2023
I've been pro Ince for quite a while now as he's steadied a sinking ship. But now he's losing the plot and we're on a downward spiral. Keep for now, just need to get over the line and then re assess. #readingfc— Neil Palmer (@neilpalmerphoto) February 18, 2023
How many times is Ince going to say post match, “this is where we are at, as a football club.” This isn’t a team of part timers Paul, they are experienced pro’s who are being nullified by poor tactics. @TheTilehurstEnd #readingfc— Danny Green (@danmgreen1983) February 18, 2023
Ridiculous comments from Ince last night we had an identity in the way we played at the start of the season it wasn’t fantastic but there was definitely more given and being played. It’s dire now because you set us up that way this is on you Paul not the players. #readingfc— Guilty i support #Readingfc (@royalmint90) February 18, 2023
Ince is hanging players out to dry again. Just blamed Carroll and Abbey. Also hammering morale & confidence saying that the players aren’t good enough to get a shot on target. He has to go. #readingfc #InceOut— Andy C #FBPE (@AndyRFCCharman) February 17, 2023
I’m absolute astonished by Paul ince’s interview. He has taken zero responsibility and blames others as if he is school child. Imagine being managed by that level of professionalism. #readingfc— Martin Butler (@Martinbutlerfc) February 17, 2023
ince takes 0 responsibility for his team’s performance which then he blames after a loss like this. Throwing his players under the bus is another reason to sack him. He will soon lose the dressing room. He has already lost the fans. #readingfc— olly (@olly29000915) February 17, 2023
Incredible interview!!@TimDellor “why don’t we create chances”— Jordan Norris (@Jordo_Grittt) February 17, 2023
Ince “we are not good enough”
Tim: “It’s surprising to hear a manager say players are not good enough”
Ince “I never said that, don’t put words in my mouth son”
It will be astounding if Ince doesn’t lose the dressing room when he gives post match interviews like that. ‘We win or lose as a team’ but if we lose Ince clearly doesn’t regard himself as part of that team. #readingfc— Andy C #FBPE (@AndyRFCCharman) February 17, 2023
The more I think about it, the more I realise how bad last night was. Not just the performance, but the post-match interview from Ince was the most worrying, embarrassing interview we’ve seen in a long time - and we’ve seen some bad ones.
The best managers protect their players. Paunovic’s comments to the press were odd at times, but he never threw his players under the bus like Ince did. It’s just like he thinks he can do wrong, and anything that does go wrong is not his fault.
A shambolic evening.