Opinion Piece – Turning A Corner & Fan Support

Have we finally got lift off? Have we finally learned how to be clinical and mentally tough enough to see a game out? Whatever Paul Clement’s side showed away at Preston on Saturday, it was new, and it was enough. The real proof as to whether victory at Preston is the start, is on Wednesday against Norwich.

A lot is now riding on Wednesday, as well Saturday as Reading take on Hull. Two home games in a week is a perfect opportunity for two things; Reading players a chance to prove themselves; and Reading fans to really get behind the team.

Saturdays victory means that the next two games could be monumental in the course of the season. Two more wins this week would inject a huge amount of confidence in the players and supporters. The biggest winner though would be manager Paul Clement. I’ve gone as far as saying that it would be best for club and manager to part company. At that time I would 100% stand by that. A couple more defeats might mean that my thoughts could become reality, but I, as much as anyone, hope that Clement can turn things around. Before Saturday’s win at Preston, I simply didn’t see a way out of the rut. Now there is light, a very dim light, at the end of the tunnel. Defeat in the next two games of course is a possibility, and would mean going back to square one.

For Reading supporters, it’s been terrible. Hard earned cash going down the drain. Attendances have been seriously low. At this stage, this is the biggest two games of the season, particularly for the future of Paul Clement, as well as CEO Ron Gourlay, who is also under scrutiny at the moment. Attendances would creep up again, and that would hopefully result in a much better atmosphere at the Madejski. The return of some injured players would also boost the squad.

But if any of you Reading fans are reading this, I urge you to attend every game possible, and make as much noise as possible. A positive atmosphere goes such a long way. Look at games such as Leeds and Fulham in the play offs under Stam, and Clement’s first game against QPR last season as telling examples. It makes a huge difference. Sadly, as much as I commend those in the south stand trying to make a difference, I just don’t think it’s having very much effect on the atmosphere in the ground. Singing for the first half hour of the game and then sporadically for the rest isn’t pulling up any trees unfortunately.

As fans we have a responsibility to get behind our players. We have a talented squad. It’s a squad that needs confidence more than anything that can be offered. Players don’t need to be booed for a misplaced pass, or a wayward shot – they need support. And supporting them is the least we can do. Everyone at the club can do better, so let’s make a start.

Up the Biscuitmen!

Picture Credit: Reading FC

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