While everybody gets joyfully wrapped up in the hyperbole of last night’s Capital One Cup game, few people seem to be talking about Reading this morning – which is actually the more relevant side of the story from a Premier League perspective.
Admittedly, the team who started last night wasn’t a natural first-choice, but results like that have a habit of reverberating through a club and destroying morale. Enough first-team players were involved throughout the course of the evening for there to be a real concern over the weekend trip to Loftus Road.
QPR are not a good side at the moment, they’re extremely frail – ironically, probably more so at home with the pressure of their own fans than they are away. If Reading were to go to West London and take a point or more, then that might very well spell the end for Mark Hughes. Conversely, if Brian McDermott’s side were to lose that game, then that might just spark a revival from a team who will likely be a relegation rival. Reading don’t need that.
You can look at the short turnaround between last night and Sunday in one of two ways: either it gives the players a quick chance to exorcise some demons, or it denies wounds adequate time to heal. Whichever one turns out to be appropriate, the club need a performance. They snatched a point out of nowhere against Fulham, and this would be an opportunity to build on that – a win or draw would, for all intents and purposes, render the Arsenal loss obsolete. But a loss, and not only will they probably be bottom of the league, confidence would start to drop a bit more ahead of what will be an integral month of fixtures for them. Norwich at home, Wigan away, Aston Villa away; this is not the time for a slump.
William Hill – Free £25 bet for new users.
Paddy Power – Free £25 bet for new users.