News and Views

Blackpool Game Is A Must Win For Reading

24 October 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading's home game against bottom of the table Blackpool this weekend has suddenly become a must win for the Royals. It seems strange that Blackpool at home at this stage in the campaign is so significant. Adkins will already be feeling the pressure, but a further game without victory will see Adkin's position seriously called into question for the first time since he took over from Brian McDermott. Adkins has had his ups and downs, although less ups, since overseeing Reading's relegation into the Championship, but a defeat would be a new low point for Adkin's reign.

The early part of the season was dominated by talk of the Thai takeover but the results weren't too bad as Reading made their way up to sixth in the Championship. It was after the takeover finally officially completed that Reading slide down the table started. The Thai owners haven't seen a win since they took over and were seen leaving early as Reading crashed at Bourneouth.

Reading's run without a win stretched to seven games on Tuesday as the Royals lost 0-3 for the second time in four days. It was the third straight defeat where Reading had let in three goals. Those three games have seen the Royals score just one goal themselves. Reading haven't been terrible but just look vulnerable and lacking in confidence. The defensive mistakes continue and we keep getting punished for it. On Tuesday we were the better side in the first half at Bournemouth before collapsing immediately after half time. Against Derby we had plenty of chances to score, and could have been ahead early on in the game. We could then have got back into the game when both one and two down, but effectively gave up when the third went in. But as any manager will tell you "It's a results business".

If things are bad for Reading, they are far worse for visitors Blackpool. Blackpool have won just the single game all season - although you could argue their form is better than Reading's as their 1-0 home victory against Cardiff came just three matches ago. There's no doubt that this is a fixture between two struggling sides but Reading's home advantage and Blackpool's record of just 6 points from a possible 39, mean Reading fans will only accept a decisive win.

Perhaps there is some light at the end of the tunnel for Nigel Adkins as players look, at last, to be returning from long term injury. Danny Guthrie, who has already featured this season, will be available for selection against Blackpool. Better news is that Danny Williams, Garath McCleary and Anton Ferdinand are all expected to be returning after successfully returning to training this week. Williams and McCleary are completing their recovery from summer operations and could make a real difference as they return in November.

Blackpool's last visit to the Madejski Stadium saw Reading win 5-1 in January this year when Le Fondre scored a hat-trick. Pogrebnyak and Robson-Kanu were also on the scoresheet that day.

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