For any side fighting against relegation, even one as resurgent as Reading, the visit of a promotion chasing Leeds United side is always going to be a daunting one.
Indeed it was Marcelo Bielsa’s side who came away from the Madjeski Stadium with three points and three goals without reply on Tuesday night.
But while that result was one the new league leaders had to get, it was not one that the Royals necessarily had to avoid.
Recent results from Jose Manuel Gomes’ side have seen them haul themselves out of the relegation zone, thanks in no small part to taking the best opportunities that have dropped their way.
Prior to that defeat to Leeds, Reading had won four of their last ten games, having taken maximum points on the exact same number of occasions from the 26 leagues games before that.
Those four latest wins have come against a then managerless Nottingham Forest who finished the meeting at the Madejski with nine men, an out of form Blackburn, and two relegation rivals in Ipswich and Wigan.
That run of games has also seen the Royals finish all square with two other relegation rivals in Rotherham and Bolton. They may not have pulled away in those two particular games, but they didn’t concede ground either, and they now find themselves three points clear of the relegation zone, having been five points from safety at the start of that run.
What is most impressive about Reading in that run is the determination to fight right to the death of games for those three points: against both Blackburn and Ipswich they conceded equalisers with less than ten minutes to go, only to dig deep and find a second winner.
Against Wigan meanwhile, the first time they led the match was the 98th minute, and they were heading for defeat right up until the 89th. Put simply, when Reading need a result, they find it.
With none of their fellow relegation rivals left on Reading’s fixture schedule, the challenge now is to get the job done against the sides further up the table.
With some mid table teams still to come, Reading will be hopeful some heads will start to turn towards the beach, and given recent form, you wouldn’t bet against the Royals punishing that.