clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Breaking down Reading with the Tilehurst End in three questions

Man, international breaks are kind of hard aren't they? I'm thankful that Fulham's back and hope they're ready to go on a run. To do that, they have to go through Reading. I sat down with The Tilehurst End to talk about this week's fixture.

Richard Heathcote

Cottagers Confidential: Reading FC was relegated after the 2012/13 season and was just short of the playoffs last year. Are you expecting to go back up soon, or are you prepared for a long run in the Championship?

The Tilhurst End: Without trying to sit on the fence too much It really depends on three factors! 1) How much money the new owners are prepared to invest. 2) How quickly can we empty a treatment room that had 14 senior players in it ahead of the Middlesbrough game and 3) Can Nigel Adkins get the team playing his way? On paper we have a squad that's more than capable of competing inside the top six but if the injury list doesn't clear soon and the new board refuse to sign backups then it could be a mid-season grind.

As for the long-term well our Academy is in fantastic shape so that gives me some optimism but again with so many senior players out of contract this summer it remains to be seen how our new Thai overlords intend to run the club.

CC: Nigel Adkins has success bringing Southampton back to the Premier League. Do Reading fans think he's the right man for the job?

TTE: I think the majority of fans are behind him and he's probably won over a fair few more now that the true extent of last season's ownership woes have come to light. Adkins was only able to sign 3 players on permanent deals in his first 18 months at the club and at least one of those almost certainly was signed by the previous owner. As such he's had to try and mold a largely Brian McDermott style outfit into one in his own image all while dealing with off-field unrest and frequent injury woes. While we probably still should have made sixth last season, coming within 90 seconds of the play-offs were a respectable effort and few were calling for him to go.

However with new owners in place he knows he'll have to fight hard to keep his job in the medium to long term and now he's been able to add a few players like Simon Cox, Jamie Mackie and Oliver Norwood, the pressure will slowly start to rise if results falter.

CC: If there's one player on Reading Fulham should worry about who is he? Conversely if you could poach one Fulham player for your squad, who would it be?

TTE: Glenn Murray will probably be looking to show Crystal Palace they've made a mistake letting him go and presuming he's given a debut in front of his new home fans I'd watch out for him! Beyond that the likes of Jordan Obita, Mackie and Cox are all dangerous so we should create a fair few problems on Saturday.

I think any team would love to have Ross McCormack but if I was looking in the long-term I'd love Patrick Roberts in my squad. We saw what he could do in those epic FA Youth Cup semi-finals against our young side last season and he really does look to have the potential to be very special. Fingers crossed he can stay focused and keep driving forward rather than adding himself to the list of players who peaked before they were 20!

CC: Finally, could you predict a squad and result?

TTE: Lineup wise I imagine we'll go...

4-2-3-1 (L-R) : Federici, Obita, Pearce, Hector, Gunter; Norwood, Kuhl, Mackie, Cox, Taylor, Murray

Score prediction I'll say 2-1 Reading.