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Adkins Needs To Make Changes At Bournemouth

21 October 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Nigel Adkins has threatened to make big changes to the starting eleven ahead of tonight's Championship game at Bournemouth. The Royals are struggling in the wrong half of the table and haven't won a game in six attempts. On Saturday Reading slumped to a disappointing 0-3 defeat against Derby County at the Madejski Stadium. It was the third time in four games that the Royals had let in three goals in a game. Once again it was a story of defensive mistakes and missed chances up front. Leaking goals is Reading's biggest problem - but mistakes have been spread widely across the side, and it's not clear who might find themselves left out as Adkins attempts to tighten things up at the back.

The problems aren't just in defence. Murray started well when he arrived on loan, immediately scoring two goals but he's managed just one goal in the next seven games. Pogrebnyak came off the bench at the weekend but missed an absolute sitter from close range. Oliver Norwood has been excellent since signing for Reading and followed that up with impressive performances for his country, but he looked a shadow of himself against Derby. It seems as if confidence is starting to slip away across the side, and suddenly the Bournemouth game has taken on big importance, as Reading attempt to stop the slide and boost morale. A win would set us up nicely ahead of the visit of bottom of the table Blackpool next Saturday. A defeat would heap enormous pressure on Reading before a game in which they will be expected to win with ease.

Reading were sixth before the current run of four defeats and two draws (that includes a double defeat to Derby County in League and Cup). We've dropped to 16th place and are five points away from both the bottom three and the top six. Our last away league win was back in August when Reading were 1-0 victors over Middlesbrough when Cox scored the only goal of the game. While Reading have slipped, tonight's opposition Bournemouth have climbed. Bournemouth are in fine form, moving up to ninth after a home win over Charlton at the weekend. The Cherries have won four our of their last five games, and the only defeat was also to Derby who seem capable of beating everyone right now.

Our recent history against Bournemouth hasn't been great. We've lost three out of the last four and have to go back six games for our last win, when Reading won away 2-1 thanks to goals from Jamie Cureton and Martin Butler inside the opening nine minutes. Last season Bournemouth picked up the full six points with a 1-3 home win and a 1-2 victory at the Madejski Stadium.

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