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3 things we clearly learnt about Reading FC after their 2-1 win over Birmingham City

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Reading managed to get themselves back on track at the weekend, coming from behind at St Andrew’s to secure a 2-1 away win and halt their losing run.

18-year-old academy graduate Jahmari Clarke proved to be the hero for the Royals, coming on and half-time for George Puscas and grabbing a brace to ease his side’s fears of relegation amid a potential nine-point deduction.

Losing their last four league matches previous to Saturday afternoon’s game in the West Midlands and failing score in their past three, also suffering an injury crisis, things looked bleak for the Berkshire side who will be grateful for the international break after fielding a depleted side against Lee Bowyer’s men.

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This win puts them in 16th place, not a terrible position considering only four points separate them and sixth-place Queens Park Rangers, although they will be more concerned about what’s going on below them with a docking of points on the horizon.

A deduction of nine points now would leave them level on points with 22nd-placed Hull City, a real blow for a side that have struggled at times but not a catastrophic punishment considering their recent victory.

Focusing less on the long-term future and more on Saturday’s game though, we have picked out three things we learnt about the second-tier side after their win in the Midlands.

Clarke needs more minutes

Soccer Football – Championship – Derby County v Reading – Pride Park, Derby, Britain – September 29, 2021 General view during the match Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

With Lucas Joao and Yakou Meite out for the foreseeable future with their respective injuries, Puscas was tasked with the responsibility of stepping up to the plate and becoming one of the Royals’ main goalscorers as their only man up top.

But despite being given multiple opportunities to impress and many chances to score, the 25-year-old has failed to score a single goal this term and has been the subject of major criticism from the Championship club’s fanbase for his lack of potency in front of goal.

Many would argue his form is down to a mixture of a lack of service and his inability to create chances for himself, but he’s failed to perform nonetheless and looks severely short in confidence, which is no surprise.

During some games this term, 18-year-0ld Clarke has only been brought on for the Romanian for the final few minutes of games, not being able to make any sort of impact on the pitch.

This is understandable considering the former’s age – but after scoring twice and becoming a match-winner – he needs to play more after the international break.

Yiadom needs to be at the front of the queue for a new deal

Soccer Football – Championship – Derby County v Reading – Pride Park, Derby, Britain – September 29, 2021 Derby County’s Ravel Morrison in action with Reading’s Andy Yiadom Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Many Reading fans talk about the need to offer John Swift a new contract amid interest from the Premier League – and rightly so – but it almost seems inevitable that he will leave at the end of the campaign and it doesn’t look as if they have the finances to offer him lucrative terms.

Even tying Andy Yiadom down to a new deal will be seen an unrealistic by many after seeing him thrive this term, but the club should be making a real attempt to retain him if they have the capacity to do so, with a lack of interest from elsewhere at this stage but less than 12 months left on his current contract.

Arguably, he should be right at the front of the queue for fresh terms after thriving at wing-back and proving to be a real threat going forward.

His part in the second goal was exceptional, winning back possession and driving forward fearlessly and he’s one reason why manager Veljko Paunovic will be considering staying with a back three.

A defender’s first job is to defend, but Yiadom can do that and attack, making him a real asset to have in the second tier.

This team have the character to bounce back

Soccer Football – Championship – Luton Town v Reading – Kenilworth Road, Luton, Britain – April 21, 2021 Reading’s Liam Moore shoots at goal Action Images/Peter Cziborra EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

After losing their previous four matches, arguably due to a lack of energy with various injuries, their character may have been questioned by some fans who would have wanted to see a much-improved performance over the 90 minutes on Saturday.

A terrible error from Liam Moore in the third minute allowed Scott Hogan to put Birmingham 1-0 up, something that could have been detrimental to the Royals for the entire afternoon and especially for the captain.

However, the Jamaican international bounced back well to stay solid after then and the whole team responded brilliantly as they started the second half in a bright manner, managing to break through the opposition side’s defence twice.

Not scoring in their last three games before this tie could have severely affected them, but the fearless Clarke stepped up and made the most of his team’s creativity in the second 45.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 things we clearly learnt about Reading FC after their 2-1 win over Birmingham City

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