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Opposition View: Reading

The inside view of our opponents from their local and regional media...

18 October 2018

This season we will be gathering the views from our opponents' local media on their team, progress and hopes for the season. As we return to Sky Bet Championship action at Reading on Saturday afternoon, we speak to football.london Reading correspondent, Jonathan Low.

What was your view on Reading last season, after agonisingly missing out on the Premier League the year before?
 
Unfortunately, they were very lucky to avoid the drop.
A shortened pre-season set the tone and a combination of injuries, poor form and a lack of leadership made for a forgettable campaign.
 
What have you made of the first two months of this season?
 
There has been a small improvement, but it has been marginal. In a couple of games they have shown some promise, but things were never going to change overnight.
They did not win any of their first six games and despite a small improvement in the next block of games, there is still a huge amount of work to do.
 
How would you assess the impact of Paul Clement since his arrival last year?
 
He has steadied the ship somewhat and did just about enough to keep them up last season.
He has rectified some of the problems in that they do look more of a threat up front but defensively they are still shaky.
Whilst some players have looked ordinary, others such as Tiago Ilori have improved under him.
 
Do you feel the team can improve on recent results?
 
They can - as they have shown in glimpses this season already. But it all depends whether they can find some consistency in their results and performances.
 
Who would you describe as Reading’s key men?
 
Andy Yiadom has arguably been the best player for Reading so far this season - he has been filling in at left-back despite plying his trade as a right-back. He is a real threat going forward. Striker Sam Baldock is slowly finding his feet and is back from injury. He is the fox-in-the-box-type striker The Royals have been
crying out for over the past few seasons. If he plays, Mo Barrow could also be key as he is one of the few players in the side with genuine pace.
 
How much have Reading missed Jon Dadi Bodvarsson during his short time out?
 
He's been in red hot form so has been a big miss when he hasn't played. Having said that, he has missed quite a few chances in front of goal. He is not a natural goalscorer and in Baldock and Marc McNulty they do have goals in the side, but Bodvarsson is also good in the air and can bring others into play.
 
Your score prediction for Saturday?
 
Not overly confident and it really could go either way. 
So I'll sit on the fence and go for a tense 1-1 draw, which doesn't really help either side - both sides will be looking for a win.

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