Reading yesterday succumbed to a disappointing 2-0 defeat to a Cardiff City side who have lacked goals so far this season.
The Royals slip below the Bluebirds into 8th place, four points off the Play-offs, whilst Cardiff move up to 7th, three points off of Birmingham City in sixth.
Kenwyne Jones scored to end his mini-drought of goals just before half-time, before Matthew Connolly sealed the game after 53 minutes when he finished well from a high cross.
Here are three things to take from yesterday’s encounter:
1) Steve Clarke needs to shake things up
Nick Blackman, who has netted nine times this season, isn’t being allowed to produce the moments of magic we saw at the start of the season while playing out wide.
Clarke is struggling to accommodate the likes of himself, Matej Vydra and Orlando Sa, without being too gung-ho. Although Vydra has not produced the goods yet since his arrival, his record at this level is too good to ignore, and seemingly too good for him to be left out.
However, the tactic will need to be tweaked, and one of those three may have to miss out. Blackman was sensational through the middle at the start of the season, so a return to that position may be Clarke’s best option for future games.
2) Kenwyne Jones can lead the line
The Trinidad & Tobago international has showed that if given the required service he can finish his chances.
He lead the line well alongside Joe Mason, and could be the viable striking option going forward for the Bluebirds, especially considering he is getting back to full fitness.
He caused both Reading centre-backs aerial problems throughout, with it little surprise that his goal came from a header.
3) The Reading back-line
Michael Hector and Anton Ferdinand didn’t have the best of games as a pair, and Paul McShane will most definitely go back into the side when he returns.
The question arises when you decide who is removed.
Some fans will call for both to be dropped, with youngster Jake Cooper to be given a chance, but it remains to be seen what Clarke does with the defensive situation. Reading have got to stop leaking goals soon before they become cut adrift from the leading pack.
Cardiff and Reading fans… do you agree? Did Clarke get the formation wrong? How important could Jones be for the Bluebirds? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!