It’s FA CUP ROUND 3 time and with the upcoming visit of our Championship Rivals Reading we took the chance to have a chat with the lads from The Tilehurst End
1. How would you sum up Reading`s season so far?
Dull and disappointing really. With the club’s financial struggles this was never going to be a rip roaring campaign but Nigel Adkins just couldn’t get the team playing the way he wanted and while we stumbled into a few good wins early on, a miserable run of three wins in 14 saw the former Saints boss get the sack. In his place we’ve seen Steve Clarke take charge and immediately oversee a turn around in form, with four points from his first three games in three contests where we could have easily seen us take all nine.
2. The two sides have already met in the league once this season, what did you make of Huddersfield that day?
For a team widely tipped to be relegation fodder you certainly showed a lot of strength and character. I can’t say you came here and looked like Brazil, but you came here with a plan to frustrate us and took full advantage of the two goals we gifted you before an excellent defensive display to preserve your lead. Results like that keep you in this division and from what I saw that late summer’s evening, you’ll be fine come May.
3. Oliver Norwood moved between the clubs shortly after that game, How are you finding the midfielder so far?
He’s been probably our player of the season so far with a number of eye catching displays in the middle of the park. Reading haven’t had the best of records with ball-playing midfielders in recent seasons but Norwood seems to be bucking that trend based on what we’ve seen so far. He needs to perhaps be a bit more of a goal threat and he’s lost his man tracking back a few times but generally you know you’ll get a minimum 6/10 and usually a 7 or an 8 from the former United trainee.
4. You also sold Ex-Town Loanee Sean Morrison to Cardiff not long after, how big a loss has that been to you?
Our defence has been largely a shambles this season but how much of a difference Morro would have made I’m not really sure. Michael Hector has been the man to replace him and while he’s had the odd horror show (including the game against yourselves!) He’s also put in some very good performances as well. Long-term I think Morrison will be a very good defender but to get more than £4 million for a man who still hasn’t played 100 games above League One, you can’t complain.
5. Any fond FA Cup memories?
While our best cup run was to the semi-finals in 1927, we did manage back-to-back quarter-final runs a few years ago including memorable wins at Anfield and Goodison Park. Going back further and I remember welcoming Fergie’s United to Elm Park in 1996 which seemed as good as it would get for us, while knocking out Premier League Southampton led by Souness a year or so later was also a cracking afternoon in our old ground.
6. Any not so fond ones?
An interesting fact for you is that Reading hold the record for most FA Cup defeats alongside Notts County and given I don’t see either side winning it any time soon, that’s a record we’ll sadly hold on to for a while!
7. Do you expect Steve Clarke to field a full strength side?
He’s come out and said he’ll be using the game to have a look at a few players but that he wants to take the competition seriously so expect tinkering rather than full-out changes. One name to look out for will be Jem Karacan, our club captain who hasn’t featured since late 2013 but could finally make his comeback on Saturday.
8. Score prediction?
Optimistic we’ll nick this one with a late winner… 2-1 Reading!
Thanks again to to The Tilehurst End you can follow them on Twitter @TheTilehurstEnd
AND Check out our answers on their blog HERE
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