03/04: Preview: Reading
by Matt Rowson and Ian Grant
How did they do?
Galloped into the season at a pace and found themselves still in the chasing pack with the line in sight. Made it to the play-offs, and then annoyingly lost to Wolves. Were the only one of the play-off sides to beat us, a lucky deflection at the Madejski and a tonking at Vicarage Road doing the damage.
How will they do?
It's that "difficult second season" for Reading... opponents now know what to expect, supporters' expectations have been raised to a probably unfair level. With Cureton's departure, and even if Goater is recruited as mooted, the Royals will be heavily dependent on Nicky Forster for goals. The squad looks decent in other areas though and Pardew seems to have his head screwed on... top half, outside chance of another bash at the play-offs.
Reading as a shade of Crown Paint
I don't understand Reading. It's not even slightly close to hatred, it's not so much as a mild dislike. I
simply don't understand, as if a thoroughly satisfying answer to the question is always
just out of reach, as if I'm missing something obvious. Other things that evoke the same
mystified feeling: fruit salad, "Hollyoaks", Craig David, cats, cars, bedding plants, anyone who'd
decorate in "Shell Peach".