Reading Preview vs Wigan (A)

There’s next to no chance that we’ll ever have confirmation, but it would be very difficult to dispute that people power has played a significant role in what could, and I stress could, become a monumental moment in the future of Reading Football Club.

Ron Gourlay is gone. Myself, along with what I would suggest is a large number of Reading fans were overjoyed at Monday’s news. It’s been believed for a considerable period that that Ron Gourlay has been tearing through the soul of this club. From a personal perspective, it hasn’t felt like the club that I have been supporting for well over a decade. It feels like a club that is desperate from top to bottom to be back in the Premier League, but simply cannot find the right dynamic to do so.

As fans, we all need to move on and support the new CEO, who is likely to be Brian Tevreden, who will return with a point to prove. It seemed from the outside looking in that the club effectively picked Gourlay over him, leading to his departure. Hopefully matters off the pitch will start to stabilise, with the January transfer market looking to be crucial. Stability off the pitch should emit positivity on to matters on the pitch.

The Royals travel to Wigan on Saturday, and the squad, in my opinion must view this as a game that they can win. It seems that possibly getting a point has been the attitude for most away games this season. The two Championship winning sides certainly wouldn’t  place Wigan into that type of category. I don’t see Paul Clement ever being able to change the mentality of this squad, but he must do something.

Wigan have lost their last four games, so Reading simply must play to win. These players have got to take the game by the scruff of the neck as early possible, before allowing Wigan to come into the game. I hope to see more ruthless finishing and creativity, and Clement must give his attacking players license to do that.

Balance is key to that – but I expect to see Clement take a more defensive approach unfortunately. At the point of writing, I’m sure that there are still players that haven’t returned to training, so it’s very much unclear whether any of the squad have picked up any injuries.

Paul McShane and David Meyler have been noticeable absentees of late, but both appear to be fit. I can’t see them being left out of the squad for too long with the busy winter period coming up.

My predicted line-up for Saturday’s game is as follows;

GK: Anssi Jaakkola

RB: Andy Yiadom

CB: Liam Moore (c)

CB: Tiago Ilori

LB: Tyler Blackett

CM: Liam Kelly

CM: Leandro Bacuna

CM: John Swift

RM: Garath McCleary

ST: Yakou Meite

LM: Mo Barrow

I’m confident of a win for a change, and very much hopeful that Reading kick on and take the positives from the last block of fixtures. Up the Biscuitmen!

Picture Credit: Reading FC

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