If there was ever a time to be most optimistic of breaking our away hoodoo in the league, it was surely going to be off the back of a rampant 9-0 victory in the Papa John’s Trophy.
But, in true Reading style, we fell hopelessly to yet another loss on the road in the league. The game started okay enough, but a series of unacceptable individual errors meant we were three goals down by half-time, and we never even looked like getting back to into the game after that.
It’s a feeling the fans have felt before, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating...
More away woes
It is getting a bit ridiculous now how dreadful we are away from home in the league - we’re now nearing a full year since our last win on the road.
We can do that: we saw that at Millwall and during the week against Exeter, but there’s just something about the league where, we not only can’t win away from home, we struggle to put in a half-decent performance.
Surely something needs to change soon, but for now the fans had another loss to react to...
Time to enjoy some food after such a shoddy afternoon.— forr3s (@forr3s) September 23, 2023
Be a long time until I go to another away game if that's what it's like every week #readingfc
Every single time we play away from home, the players always get out muscled and make the wrong decisions.— Jack (@thesimpsonRFC) September 23, 2023
The mentality away just cannot for some reason be changed, no fight when going behind. Desperate stuff #readingfc
We simply have to win one of the next 2 away games. Just can't keep losing away.— Paul Williams (@PaulFrankfurt71) September 23, 2023
I know this manager/side are only responsible for 4 defeats but the run is a thing and needs to be stopped quickly else it will derail the season esp if we get more deductions#readingfc
When I left this morning for the Blackpool game my mrs asked me why I keep doing Reading away days. I am genuinely running out of reasons #ReadingFC— Tatum (@Tatum1871) September 23, 2023
| We haven't won a league game away from home since our 2-1 win against Hull, 12th November 2022. It was our final match before the World Cup.— Reading FC (@bluewhitewall) September 23, 2023
New season, new squad, new manager, same rubbish away from home.#ReadingFC
I travelled to Blackpool last February to see #ReadingFC lose 4-1, and vowed to never go back to that ground unless it was an important game.— Joe (@iJC106) September 23, 2023
After that 9-0 win midweek I was so bloody tempted to go again, but chose not to. Lost 4-1 again. 16 games without a league win away
I don’t think we got tactically outplayed by any stretch personally. I think we conceded four really, really poor goals that could’ve been easily avoided if individuals had done their jobs properly.
That is an all too familiar feeling for the Loyal Royals, and there were a number of culprits guilty of making too many individual mistakes on Saturday...
Mola hutch Yiadom awful— Dave McCormack (@davemc_exile) September 23, 2023
Abbey slightly off the pace
MF getting overun
Ballard Kelvin working on nothing #readingfc
Fullbacks are all over the shop this could be 6/7 should be 5
Three mistakes, 3 goals.— Max (@Readingfan106) September 23, 2023
Abbey missing header & Hutchinson for first.
Hutchinson header for corner, Mola didn’t win header for goal.
Abbey missing header, Mola not tackling.
What is happening #readingfc
Plenty of individual performances today left a lot to be desired. Hutchinson and Mola the biggest culprits but nobody really shone today. Have to question the tactical set up away from home as well, we're just far to easy to get at, way to open #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) September 23, 2023
Fair to say Hutchinson went from probably his best #readingfc game last week, to his worst today.— Paul Williams (@PaulFrankfurt71) September 23, 2023
Calamitous defending for all three goals, but that Hutchinson tackle for the pen is unforgivable as a senior pro. Droppable offence and totally changed the game after being on top. #readingfc— Thomas (@rfctom) September 23, 2023
The man in the dugout was again another hot topic of discussion for the fans after the game. Some were quick to criticise another poor showing on the road, whilst others were eager to defend the manager.
It was good to see Selles come over to the fans at the end as well, admit the performance was unacceptable and apologise. We would never have got anything like that from some of his predecessors.
He has been dealt a horrid hand, and there is a much bigger picture to look at, but does that make him immune from criticism? The fans had their say post-match...
baffled at how many fans think it’s up to Selles to turn around a club that has consistently put in dire performances for two seasons in just a few games #readingfc— alex (@AlexOne871) September 23, 2023
Selles has taken over in awful circumstances, we all get that. But there's so many fans that think he can't be criticised.. #readingfc— Dan Hindmarsh (@DH_Editz) September 23, 2023
Think certain fans need to have a reality check. We aren’t gonna be a finished product overnight. If you’re calling for Selles to be sacked you’re as bad as Dai. You don’t want stability or an infrastructure for the club to work on. Absolute tools. #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) September 23, 2023
Because of the owner and the point deductions, Selles gets a free hit! He won’t be criticised & always has behind the screen’s turmoil to fall back on but apart from a couple of energetic performances, the league form hasn’t been very good at all @willow1871 #readingfc— Jordan Norris (@jordy_norr1s) September 23, 2023
We’ve only scored six league goals in eight games. Even without our points deduction, we’d only be sitting 17th in the table. Have full faith in Selles, but something’s got to change. The formation, specifically a midfield two simply isn’t working. #readingfc pic.twitter.com/6if70ICqds— Ed Ryding (@EdRyding) September 23, 2023
I feel for Selles. A genuinely good bloke who has idiots above him who restricts him. No excuses because away from has to change. #readingfc— micah (@m1871e) September 23, 2023
Didn’t go to the game today, that’s a terrible result but people need to calm down. Selles is the right man but we must make changes for Burton, especially defensively. Gutted, but there’s a long road ahead ⚪️ #readingfc— Luke (@Luke1871_) September 23, 2023
I really want to like Ruben Selles but 4-2-2-2 is a dreadful formation #readingfc— Dan (@Jones1871) September 23, 2023
Another horrendous away performance and result. While the turbulence at the club remains, and while the team is still in this transition phase of learning how Selles wants them to play, we’re going to have a few more days like this as well.
It’s going to be a topsy-turvy season and I’ve now got to the point where it’s all about staying in the league and trying to begin somewhat reminiscent of a well run club this season.