I’d like to give everyone who went up to Blackburn a firm handshake. Travelling to Lancashire on a weekday evening when your team has won 11 points on the road all season - and doesn't really look like changing that anytime soon - should be filed under the word ‘commitment’ in the dictionary.
Although they got a slightly improved performance from the Royals on Wednesday night, it was an all too familiar result. And, again, we can’t really say we deserved anything from the game.
Here’s how the fans reacted to the key talking points...
Casadei and Joao
These two should really be counting themselves unlucky that they haven't featured more in recent weeks. Joao being a proven goalscorer at this level who should really be starting every game he's fit to, and Casadei a creative midfielder who’s been sat on the bench watching a very uncreative team fail to even muster shots on target.
Both stood out against Blackburn, with Casadei grabbing his first senior goal, and surely cemented themselves in the starting line up for a few games to come.
The fans were impressed with what they saw, but ultimately not surprised. These two should be starting more games for us...
Casadei MOTM, top player if we let him be creative #ReadingFC— Liam Tarry (@LiamTarry) March 15, 2023
I’ve said for a while that Joao should play, much better with him in the side and as much as it annoys me, Liam Moore has to play Saturday too. #readingfc— Jordan Norris (@Jordo_Grittt) March 15, 2023
Joao was decent tonight, held the ball up and was a threat with the ball at his feet. His goal record is excellent at this level and to stay up we need his goals. Should start up top the rest of the season #readingfc— Paul Towner (@PaulTowner7) March 16, 2023
Cesare Casadei. A young Romeo Sensini playing for #readingfc— Karz From The 'Ding ☕ (@FFSKarz) March 15, 2023
#readingfc That was all Casadei. The movement, the give me the ball and I show this crap manager what creativity looks like. That was all him! Well done Casadei— Michael Hunter (@Michael_BHunter) March 15, 2023
Better, but still not enough
It is not difficult to perform better than we have been in recent weeks (well, it shouldn't be anyway). We’ve been really, really bad recently and have looked like a team bereft of ideas, tactical nous and confidence.
Wednesday night was better - I mean we got a few shots on goal and scored a goal in open play - but it still left a lot to be desired and, ultimately, we walked away pointless.
The fans noticed the improvements after the game, but still weren’t that pleased with what the team offered - and they were pretty emphatic in the conclusion that it wasn’t enough to win Ince any brownie points.
Sack him before Hull (if we can).— Adam GC Jones (@ajonesrfc) March 15, 2023
Some will argue that Ince was key behind our better approach but we should’ve been playing like this weeks and weeks ago.
Tonight reinforces the mistakes he’s made with getting us to go so direct.
Also, our defending was shocking.#readingfc
Yesterday was better but it wasn’t good, we are just hopeless at the moment. Joao over Carroll improves us in open play so much. Hull a must win or Ince is probably done, get Azeez in from the start and maybe NGW too #readingfc— Nick Houlton (@Houlton11) March 16, 2023
The Hull game Sarurday is huge for Ince now. Having said that I don't think he really cares if he gets the sack or not. These players are a lot better than they are showing under Ince and Alex Rae. We saw that in bits tonight. #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) March 15, 2023
Very frustrating we couldn't hang on for a point there, slightly better than what we've served up in some away games this season, but ultimately nothing to show for it. Casadei was very good and needs to be the first name on the team sheet in midfield #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) March 15, 2023
We saw some improvement but were still battered. That’s how bad Ince had made us. #readingfc— Paolo (@Skeptichead) March 15, 2023
Most entertaining game for a while, end to end and we applied pressure at times. But yet again bad game management, awful management and bad subs mean we come away with nothing again. Ince out before it’s too late #readingfc— Glyn (@GlynBull) March 15, 2023
Annoyed. Annoyed that this team again showed, albeit in patches, that they can perform and play positively. Loum undid all his good work with an idiotic moment, Hendrick shouldn’t be playing, McIntyre isn’t a left back and Casadei was absolutely brilliant. #readingfc— Richard Langley (@simply_langers) March 15, 2023
More questionable post-match comments
Ince is not exactly painting himself as a good interviewee at the moment. I don’t know whether it’s him protecting his players, slips of the tongue or he just genuinely believes what he’s saying, but some of his post-match comments have been baffling to say the least.
Yes we were a little better on Wednesday, but to come out and say the players were ‘exceptional’ and we should’ve got points from all of the last three games is just absolutely ridiculous. I think the fans are reaching the end of their tether now...
Ince ball in full swing "couldn't see us losing" is a great quote, #rovers in the ascendency throughout and should have had 3/4.— rovers_boothy (@conner2712) March 16, 2023
Exactly why #readingfc need to get shut, awful manager with blind tactics https://t.co/0Vqp1fmMSV
Surely if we get beat Saturday ince’s time is up. As long as we go for a experienced manager not someone who’s not . And as for loum, he’s been terrible since he has came to us and that proved that last night. He isn’t good enough. #readingfc— Simon Rumble (@SimonRumble84) March 16, 2023
Another collection of fans saying we were the worst team they’ve seen at their ground all season, yet our manager trying to fall people to say we deserved something out of the game. No one believes a word Paul Ince says and it’s showing in how the players perform too #ReadingFC— Chris (@CScott___) March 16, 2023
Ince’s excuses are sickening. Does he knows he’s digging himself a hole more and more every week. #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) March 15, 2023
"Very good game, I thought the boys were exceptional" - Paul Ince in his post match interview. Get him gone immediately. Don't even let him on the bus back #ReadingFC— Adam (@aabiscuit) March 15, 2023
I've defended Ince to the hill all season, I was all for change at the summer. But now we need to make change now otherwise we'll be in for a very very bumpy ride #readingfc— Cass Fox (@CassFox_) March 15, 2023
We scored a goal and looked more threatening than we have been in recent weeks, but let's be honest that's not exactly an achievement.
At the end of the day, we still lost the game and deservedly so. Saturdays game against Hull is absolutely huge and you’d think it’s a must win - purely for the atmosphere around the club. We win and some weight is lifted off some shoulders, we lose and all hell breaks loose.