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The Alternative View: Cambridge United 1-0 Reading

The Royals were edged out late on by Cambridge, live in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Cambridge United v Reading - Sky Bet League One - Abbey Stadium Photo by Simon Marper/PA Images via Getty Images

Reading travelled to the Abbey Stadium on the unusual time slot of Monday night! Whoever at Sky felt this would be a good advertisement for League One footie is probably rueing that decision, and no doubt having words with their boss this week as to their choice of games!

Facing a U’s side which had been on a mix of wins and losses at the start of this season could have - and potentially should have - been an opportunity for us to regain some form. But, as usual, our away form let us down badly, and once again it was a case of what might have been.

League One hasn’t been the greatest this year for fan interaction, but hey, here’s some of the “highlights”.


The Liam Bennett Fan Club is in full swing…

Do we have a first-choice XI?

This to be fair is probably accurate

Don’t mind a bit of fight in the team

What steam?

There are levels of entertaining, this wasn’t high

You feel sorry for overseas expats trying to watch a bit of footie


A quick run around the media finds the BBC picking up on Ruben Selles’ interview around getting a “mentality” - hardly groundbreaking news as this has been firmly in evidence for the past three seasons.

The BBC’s actual match report again says it was an entertaining game (?), calling it action-packed. That’s not how many of us saw the game but ho hum. They obviously have low entertainment thresholds…

Sky Sports have managed to find 1min 58s of highlights from it - mostly the U’s but hey, I still have no idea how Harvey Knibbs’ shot didn’t go in at the death.


Another away defeat, another abject away performance, another “let’s get together and push moment”.

While we cannot shy away from it being a poor performance and another loss, we have to be mindful of where we are at. This team had eight players under 23. I would hate to think how many games these have played in their professional lives at this level. In essence, if we want instant success you rarely get it with kids (the Manchester United team of the 1990s aside).

We have the international break now, which could be a blessing. It may get us some players back from injury and allow for work on the performances.

It looks like this is pretty much our first team for the foreseeable future and one that we need to rely on, so we have to accept that there will be poor performances from it and scapegoating players doesn’t help. Yes we are all frustrated, yes we want to win, but I believe that if we keep the faith then they will only get better. Selles has obviously gone down the route where we can only sign kids or free contracts, and attracting players that are of a decent quality is going to be a struggle.

This season, the same as the last three, is about survival. We get through this period with this team and they will improve, develop and learn, and in a season or two we could have the basis of a really good squad.

We have to accept that players such as Matty Carson - who’s come in for a lot of stick via Twitter - will make mistakes and will be caught out of position. But also he will learn from it. Continuously hammering him or any player doesn’t really achieve anything.

We will have good games - I just hope they come sooner rather than later!