Reading vs Brighton

Costello

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Going along to this, expecting our biggest away crowd of the season so far, close to 4000.

Injury problems mounting for us, including Bong who's just been ruled out until the new year, really gonna miss him at LB. Also likely to be without Dale Stephens for the second game running - bound to feel his absence too as he's been a real commanding presence alongside Kayal in midfield for us. Expecting Crofts/Ince to step in for Dale, with probably Rosenior switching to left-back.

Expecting another tough one. Our record at the Madejski is really poor and they'll be looking to bounce back from their capitulation at Fulham (what happened there!?). Hope we can dig in and come away with something but think we may at last see our unbeaten run come to an end.
 

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What happened was a pathetic defensive display in the second half topped off with conceding 3 goals in 7 minutes. Apart from the first 15-20 or so minutes and a 10 minute spell when we were 3-2 down we were never really in charge of the game. Out of character from us. Interesting to see if it was just a one off.

Down side for us is Tshibola who has been excellent for us when he has played this season is now injured until around the new year. Don't think Piazon will play this weekend either.

Going to be optimistic and predict us to win.
 

Madejski

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I think we'll go for a more defensive formation in this (4-4-2?) as our team selections were just getting ridiculously more and more attacking to the point where if we'd held onto the win against Fulham we'd probably not even bother with a midfield for this and just play 6 forwards.. Also with our rapidly depleting midfield options there's no chance of a return to the 4-3-3.

I just hope that means playing Blackman as a striker and McCleary as a winger. Vydra would have to be the guy dropped, but not a bad option off the bench..

We have to win really.

Also think Reading vs Brighton games in general should be renamed to "not a derby but the irrational dislike game between two almost identically sized clubs".. That may sound dumb and stupid, but whenever we play Brighton there seems to be a lot of dumb and stupid comments about each others clubs that turn up from supporters on both sides. Social media gets even more unreadable than normal.
 

Dazza

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I think we'll go for a more defensive formation in this (4-4-2?) as our team selections were just getting ridiculously more and more attacking to the point where if we'd held onto the win against Fulham we'd probably not even bother with a midfield for this and just play 6 forwards.. Also with our rapidly depleting midfield options there's no chance of a return to the 4-3-3.

I just hope that means playing Blackman as a striker and McCleary as a winger. Vydra would have to be the guy dropped, but not a bad option off the bench..

We have to win really.

Also think Reading vs Brighton games in general should be renamed to "not a derby but the irrational dislike game between two almost identically sized clubs"..

That may sound dumb and stupid, but whenever we play Brighton there seems to be a lot of dumb and stupid comments about each others clubs that turn up from supporters on both sides. Social media gets even more unreadable than normal.

As has been said elsewhere this Reading/Brighton rivalry just seems to be both sides claiming how indifferent they are to one another. Can't understand it myself.
 

Madejski

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As has been said elsewhere this Reading/Brighton rivalry just seems to be both sides claiming how indifferent they are to one another. Can't understand it myself.
True, if an outsider was looking in they wouldn't stop laughing at some of the points both clubs are making.

You won't find two sides in the Football League who are more similar in size I reckon.
 

Costello

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Yeah it's a bit silly really, think a lot of the petty, dismissive remarks from our side come down to envy of Reading having already done what we're trying to do now (top flight football following new stadium, heavy investment etc) about 10 years earlier. Both probably have a lot more in common than a few fans on either side would like to admit.

It's also interesting how we seem to have almost mirrored each other's progress up and down the table over the last 3 seasons (albeit with a lot still to be played of this one).
 

Madejski

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Aye, only reason I want you to win the league is that we'll almost certainly finish 2nd then given how close we have been since you were promoted.
 

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I would be happy if the season finishes the same way the 2001/02 League 1 season did where Brighton won the title and we finished second.
 
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Costello

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Definitely had to dig deep for that point late on. Not a great deal happened in the first half, few half chances for Reading and the Hemed header at the other end, pretty flat and at that stage looked destined for 0-0.

Different story second half as it really seemed to open up - we made a really bright start and scored probably our best team goal of the season to date. Could have had a second soon after but then had to soak up plenty of Reading pressure as Blackman and co stepped it up a notch. Gutting to concede such a soft one late on, but can't say they didn't deserve it.

Lots of pleasing aspects from a defensive point of view, Dunk a towering presence throughout alongside Hunemeier. Crofts and Kayal (especially) of the midfielders got through a lot of work. Hemed, Baldock and Murphy in attack showed some great flashes among some admittedly poorer moments, but had generally limited service.

Few of our fans didn't seem to agree but I thought Reading's pace and movement in attack was mightily impressive at times, even in the first half some of the approach play from their front four was very slick and cohesive, just lacked the final ball. Blackman in that final 20 mins looked like a man possessed, how has he become such a world beater in such a short space of time!? Makes no sense.

Wasn't quite the high quality match some might have expected, but encouraged by our organisation and general steeliness once again, can definitely see the Hughton stamp on our side. 14 unbeaten now. Just hope we can start scoring a few more in the near future..

Reading I see as definite top six material. Against most other sides I think they would've come away comfortable victors with their performance today.
 
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Dazza

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Fairly pleased with a point. Decent performance from us after last weeks defensive shambles. Came away from that feeling we should have won though. Good that Vyydra has scored his first goal especially after that piss poor miss in the early stages of the second half when we broke away 3 against 1. We look such a better side when Blackman plays centrally. Should play him there from the start of matches as he looks far more threatning there.

As for Brighton they are hardworking and a good solid side.Can see that Hughton has got them well organised and why they are currently top. Think they will finish top 6.
 

Madejski

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Vydra is the most unselfish "goal poacher" ever. That's at least the second time he's messed up a very good counter attack opportunity by attempting to pass instead of shoot. Was important for him to score and boost his confidence.

Not sure how it'll work when Blackman is quite obviously a central striker though. Surely Sa can't miss out? Crazy to think that Blackman is the league's top scorer when he is limited to playing out wide for a majority of the season. He was easily the best player on the pitch today.

Were the better team (helped by Brighton sitting back after they scored) but couldn't really break them down enough. We had a lot of chances, but only maybe 3 good ones.

Think the game summed up quite well both teams, showing how the strengths that should make them top 6ish but what they are lacking for automatic positions.
 

The Southbank

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I can't abide by Vydra passing when he should have shot, I was fuming. Nick Blackman was outstanding, Steve Clarke has worked wonders with him. His technique on the ball is marvellous, a real joy to watch.
 

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