Former Blackpool and Queens Park Rangers manager Ian Holloway has said he isn’t concerned about Reading despite a potential points deduction on the horizon, adding that the Royals looked like a ‘wonderful side’ on the EFL on Quest programme after their victory against Middlesbrough at the weekend.
Veljko Paunovic’s side currently sit in tenth place with a game in hand over many of the teams around them in the Championship, as they head into tonight’s fixture against bottom side Derby County looking to take all three points away from Pride Park.
They are currently on a four-game unbeaten run, conceding a stoppage-time equaliser to draw against Queens Park Rangers before winning maximum points against Peterborough United, Fulham and Middlesbrough since.
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Three of their late summer signings in Baba Rahman, Danny Drinkwater and Alen Halilovic have all proved to be crucial in lifting the Royals to a much more comfortable position after they went into the previous international break sitting just outside the relegation zone.
They went unbeaten in eight games under their current manager at the start of the 2020/21 campaign, winning seven and drawing one, and will be hoping to replicate something similar now as they look to get themselves into the top six once again and mitigate the effects of a possible points deduction.
As per journalist Courtney Friday, the Berkshire outfit are likely to be docked six points, which would leave them in 20th place as things stand and a single point off the drop zone. But if they can continue their superb September form and carry it into next month, they will be able to stave off the threat of relegation with some ease.
Pundit Ian Holloway is one man that has no worries about the second-tier side’s prospects this term, saying on the EFL on Quest programme (quotes via Berkshire Live): “I’m not even concerned about them.
“Their players looked like they were enjoying playing football and they were together.
“The manager just has to get that [points deduction] threat out of their minds because there is nothing they can do about it.
“But you could see [against Middlesbrough] that they looked a wonderful side.”
Reading’s recent form just shows you how far a few signings and a bit of confidence can go in the Championship amid this mini unbeaten run.
Having a natural left-back in Baba Rahman has made such a difference – and Danny Drinkwater has also been a useful asset to have in the middle of the park with Josh Laurent needing to slot in at centre-back.
With these two loanees, both of whom are top quality as shown by the transfer fees Chelsea paid for them when they arrived at Stamford Bridge, the Royals’ future looks a lot brighter and they could receive a further boost tonight with the inclusion of Scott Dann.
His experience at the back in the absence of the club’s four orthodox centre-backs will be vital but whether he’s fit enough to start or even make the bench for this evening’s tie in the East Midlands remains to be seen.
Things are looking up for Reading though – and they seem to be a confidence-based side. So the longer they can keep this run going the better – and they will face a huge test when it finally comes to an end with reacting in a better fashion than they have at times in the past.