04/05: Preview: Reading
by Matt Rowson
How did they do?
"But if you want some cause for optimism, it's still here, tucked away. Because Reading were bloody rubbish yesterday...and I really don't recall that they were anything terribly special in the return fixture either. And yet they were still in with a theoretical chance of reaching the playoffs on the last day of the season, even if their own vapid, lacklustre performance rapidly put paid to even that remote possibility. You see, it's so easy to be obsessed with your own problems that you imagine that everyone else is having a fabulous time, that any team in the top half is closely modelled on Brazil in 1970. It ain't so. After a certain point - the top two, say, although even that's debatable - the First Division is measured in degrees of rubbishness, and a good season is merely slightly less rubbish than a bad one. A bit harsh, I know, but you get the point. For all that any improvement will be a serious challenge to a depleted squad, we don't have to improve that much."
How will they do?
Steve Coppell's team now, and you kinda feel that if Reading were on their way to automatic promotion this season, their fans wouldn't still be so focused on the aggravating departure of their previous manager. That said, there's plenty of quality in the side and it's difficult to see Reading regressing - Coppell is no fool after all, even if he does persist with that worrying Colin Lee trait of dragging a train of players behind him from club to club (Sonko and Brooker the latest). Decent play-off shout.