Match Report: 2009/2010 Season

Reading: -
Leicester: Waghorn (45 mins)
Half Time: 0-1
Attendance: 16,192

Pos Team P Pts GD
21 Peterborough 14 11 -6
22 READING 14 10 -12
23 Plymouth 14 9 -13
24 Ipswich 14 8 -12
Reading: Federici, Mills, Bertrand, Pearce, McAnuff, Tabb, Howard, Matejovsky, Sigurdsson (Long, 65), Rasiak, Church (Kebe, 65). Subs not used: Hamer, Cisse, Karacan, Cummings, Gunnarsson.
Leicester: Weale, Brown, Hobbs, Neilson, McGivern, Andy King, Oakley, Wellens, Gallagher (Berner, 85), Fryatt (Campbell, 59), Waghorn (Howard, 59). Subs not used: Logan, N'Guessan, Kermorgant, Morrison.
Reading: : Howard, Matejovsky, Mills.
Leicester: -
Ref: K Hill (Hertfordshire)
Brendan Rogers was spared the anticipated torrent of abuse following the recent run of defeats and the disaster at Loftus Road, by a display of attacking football which only lacked the crucial ingredient of a couple of goals the performance merited. Sadly for Reading's long-suffering fans, City took advantage of a lapse in concentration on the stroke of half time when Waghorn headed home from a corner to give City all three points. It was a well taken goal but an underserved lead coming after a half of fine flowing football from the home side. Matejovsky repeatedly carved open the City defence with a range of imaginative passes to feed Rasiak and Church with series of clear scoring opportunities. His comfort on the ball made him look a player a class above every other player on the field. By the end of the game he had run himself to almost a standstill as he constantly worked to support players in possession and initiate attacking play. The only blemish in his performance was a booking for a series of clumsy and unnecessary fouls.

Rogers is now close to finding his best combination of players and used them in a 4 4 2 formation which is clearly more effective than the variety of other plans the manager has tinkered with so far this season. The removal of Cummings and Kebe from the right side gave Reading a better balance and greater security defensively. Kebe came on for the last twenty five minutes and caused City some problems with his pace but overall McAnuff has more to offer in that position. I am still not sure of the best pairing in the centre of defence but would prefer to see Karacan in the starting line, probably at the expense of Howard. The quality of Reading's play in the opening forty five minutes had the pessimistic home fans quite animated. Only the quality of the finish was lacking. In the first minute McAnuff was released down the right but his shot was easily saved. If he had got his shot away quicker he might have been more successful. Rasiak timed his runs well and has the ability to anticipate Matejovsky's fine passes but could not apply the finish they deserved. Church also managed to seek out some good opportunities but failed to hit the target apart from one strike following a superbly intricate move from a corner which drew an excellent save from Weales. McAnuff came closest to the elusive goal when he struck the post and then reacted smartly to hammer the rebound goalwards only to see his effort deflected wide. Reading fans, already feeling frustrated, were then angered by the award of a goal kick. With half time imminent City scored against the run of play. Tighter marking or a player on the post would have prevented it. Stunned by the injustice Reading almost conceded a second immediately but Federici reacted well to make a good point blank save.

Reading continued to play good football in the second half but I could sense slightly less conviction in their play. The confidence in their own ability was still there and they resisted the temptation of hoofing it forward. There were fewer chances, the best of which fell to Church who tamely side-footed wide. Kebe and Long replaced Church and Sigurdsson but it made little difference. On a couple of occasions the ball rolled across the City goalmouth but there was no-one there to apply the finishing touch. City might have achieved an even more flattering win but for another very save by Federici who again came out to save well from close range.

Looking at the fixture list, it was always on the cards that Reading would have slipped into the bottom three by the end of October, but this result was not deserved and a win would have kept them out of that psychologically damaging position. It is even more frustrating to see teams like Leicester City, Cardiff, Sheffield United and Watford near the top of the table when quite frankly they looked mediocre against the Royals. It would not have taken much more in terms of quality and effort to beat any of them. I was left wondering what Noel Hunt might have done with some of the chances that were created in this game. If the goals don't come soon something will have to give.
John Wells

Not bad really. We looked much improved, actually played like a football team especially in the first half where we were happily stringing together five or six passes in a forwards direction AND getting a shot in on the end of it. If only one (or two) of those shots had been the other side of the right hand post we'd be looking at a good win. We did run out of ideas in the second half but it was clear to see we can be a good team and aren't far away from turning it around. There is no way Rodgers should leave - he needs to stay and finish building his team which he is very capable of doing. Brendan Rodgers barmy army.
Geoff, Newbury

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Reading manager Brendan Rodgers on his future:
"I hope I am given time. I've been given a three-year contract but results aren't great, I understand that. But that was a good performance. I won't feel sorry for myself. I have 100% belief in my ability and I remain confident that we can turn it round. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that we are lacking something at the top of the pitch. We lost a lot of players in the summer and I have given everyone here a chance but we are where we are. The only thing missing is the end product."

BBC Sport

Reading finished eighth in the Barclays Premier League three seasons ago, yet this morning they lie above only two teams in the Coca-Cola Championship. Good fortune did not smile on them against Leicester City at the Madejski Stadium last night, a catalogue of missed chances costing them dearly. They have not won at home in the league for nine months and that, perhaps, tells the whole sorry story. Sir John Madejski is not known for his trigger-happy instincts, the Reading chairman believing in two-way loyalty between the boardroom and the manager. It was what kept Steve Coppell at the club for 5˝ years and led to the most successful period in the club’s history. It is what Brendan Rodgers, Coppell’s successor, may cling to — for comfort — in the coming weeks.
The Times