Vital Reading Editor Josh Aspinall joins us to help preview Saturday’s clash at Reading
Vital Reading Editor Josh Aspinall joins us to help preview Saturday’s clash at Reading…
So, a simple question to start with – will Reading stay up?
If you would have asked we this midway through December after a run of seven straight defeats, I would have been a definite no!
However, in recent games, now we have changed our shape, we seem to be a lot more solid. I still think it will be hard, but it’s all about us winning the games against the teams around us, a lot of which we have at home (against Wigan, QPR, Southampton and Villa).
If we do that I`m confident, but if not, it could be a yo-yo period for us.
What has been responsible for Reading’s recent run of form?
Our change of formation, going with five men in midfield.
McDermott is a manager that doesn`t like to hold back in games, normally going with two up front, but it unfortunately took him four months to realise that this doesn`t work in the Premier League and you don`t get anywhere by losing games 5-4.
I would say near enough every team in the division now plays with that European 4-2-3-1 formation, so it was just a matter of us adapting to that system to match other teams in the league.
You’ve been busy in the transfer market – what do you make the additions so far?
Daniel Carrico is one that looks very good on paper, but didn`t have the best debut against West Brom. However, he has only played two games for Sporting this season, so I`ll let him off.
Hope Akpan appears to be one for the future, but from Crawley fans I`ve been speaking to, he can certainly do a job in the Premier League.
The acquisition of Stephen Kelly has been met with mixed feelings, but his experience at this level is priceless.
Who will be the key man on Saturday?
Jimmy Kebe has struggled with injuries this season, but over the past few weeks, it looks like us Reading fans are witnessing the Kebe of old.
He has Lightning pace down that right wing and his final product has drastically improved.
Adam Le Fondre will also be a key man for us, but only off the bench it may seem. You can always rely on him to get you a goal when you need one.
One player you’d drive to his next club and why?
Striker Simon Church has failed to play any part in our Premier League campaign and is now just becoming a nuisance on our wage bill. His wages doubled with promotion last season, but keeps rejecting moves elsewhere, as no one can match his current wage.
One Sunderland player you’d poach and why?
There is quite a few in all honesty. Steven Fletcher is clinical in front of goal, while Sessegnon always impresses me when I see him play.
Adam Johnson abilities on the wing also can`t go unnoticed. If I had to pick one, it would be Sessegnon, as we could do with his spark of creativity behind Pogrebnyak and Le Fondre.
Any injuries or suspensions?
Jason Roberts is a long-term injury with a hip problem, along with goalkeeper Alex McCarthy who has a broken elbow. Apart from that, all fit!
How will you line-up?
(4-2-3-1) Federici; Kelly, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte; Leigertwood, Guthrie; Kebe, McAnuff, McCleary; Pogrebnyak.
I can`t see it being a high scoring game, so I can see us just nicking it 1-0.
Cheers Josh. Make sure you see how I answered Josh’s questions by CLICKING HERE