Get a Reading perspective on Saturday’s game from Vital Reading Editor, Josh
In the first of a new series here on VitalWatford, we get the lowdown on the opposition from a fan. Today it’s the turn of Royals supporter and Vital Reading Editor, Josh
1.What are your hopes & expectations for the season?
Its quite hard to tell at this early stage but with the squad we have, our ambition should be the play-offs despite losing some key players. But at the end of the day, there are quite a few teams that have much more quality than us, mainly due to us not being able to keep up financially in the transfer market with them. (Leicester, West Ham etc.)
2. What`s to blame for your slow start & has it got you worried?
Its hard to put it down to just one factor but putting the ball in the net really. Its not like we have defensively been shipping goals for fun, its just we can`t seem to put our chances in the back of the net. We still haven`t scored from open play since the first game of the season if that’s any clue. Yes, it is worrying but its still very early on in the season and we hope the signing of Le Fondre can cure this goal scoring problem.
3.You only really motored up the league after a slow start to last season, how important an experience is that for the squad to draw on?
A massive experience and boost, giving them the belief to show it can be done again even if this slow start continues or pops up again. We have done it for the past 2 years, I just hope we are third time lucky!
4. Losing Shane Long & Matt Mills was always going to be massive, but how well have you replaced them?
I have to give praise to our gaffer in that he has done brilliantly to replace the both of them on a small budget. For Mills, we got in Khumalo, a South Africa international from Spurs and Kaspars Gorkss, the Latvian captain who was an ever present for QPR last season, who will sure up our occasionally shaky defence. Fans were calling McDermott to replace Long but it didn`t look likely, with him making our winger Hal Robson-Kanu play a more central role, but shocked many by capturing Adam Le Fondre, which has been seen as a massive coup for the club, one which has also excited the fans.
5. Who`s going to cause us problems on Saturday?
The obvious one is Jimmy Kebe, who causes defences many problems with his power and pace but as long as you double up on him he can became non-existent as Andy Griffin would look more comfortable in a retirement home at the moment. For his goals, it`s going to have to be Le Fondre though. I and many other fans are looking forward to watching him play and see if he can crack it in the Championship, while hopefully scoring a few goals at the same time.
6. I see Jobi McAnuff, formerly of this parish is captain now. He must have done some growing up at the Mad Stad?
I find McAnuff quite hit and miss. He is one of McDermott`s favourites, never takes him off and as shown, has made him captain. Can be unplayable at times but like Kebe, he can become non-existent. Still do not agree with his appointment of being captain, nothing against him personally but I don`t think a winger in a positional sense is a logical choice for a captain.
7. Where do you think you`ll finish this season?
With the Championship and ourselves so unpredictable its hard to say at this early stage but I can see it being top half finish with us just missing out on play-offs.
8. Prediction for Saturday?
Should be a tight game. Going for a 1-0 win for Reading, with Le Fondre nicking it in the last 10 minutes.