Sky Sports pundit Jobi McAnuff has admitted that he believes Reading should stick by manager Veljko Paunovic despite a poor start to the season by the club in the Championship.
After securing a seventh-place finish in the second-tier earlier this year, the Royals would have been hoping to provide their supporters with something to shout about during the opening weeks of the current term.
However, a failure to deliver the goods in the second-tier has resulted in Reading dropping down to 22nd place in the standings.
Since their 2-1 victory over Preston North End, the Royals have conceded 12 goals in their last four league games.
Having witnessed his side throw away a two-goal lead in their most recent clash with Queens Park Rangers, it wouldn’t be at all surprising if Paunovic decides to make some alterations to his defence for this evening’s meeting with Peterborough United.
A defeat to Posh at the Select Car Leasing Stadium will allow their opponents to leapfrog them in the Championship.
Making reference to Paunovic’s future, McAnuff has insisted that whilst the club shouldn’t be considering the possibility of parting ways with the Serbian, he did suggest that it is imperative that Reading resolve their defensive issues.
Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast about the Reading boss, the 39-year-old said: “I think overall he [Paunovic] has done a good job and I think he does need to be given time but those defensive issues have to be addressed.
“You know, they cannot keep conceding.
“They are averaging in their last four games three goals conceded a game and you just can’t win any games like that so that will be the biggest focus I’m sure you know, moving forward.”
Although Reading have yet to deliver the goods in the Championship during the 2021/22 campaign, it would be a naïve decision by Reading to part ways with Paunovic at the season.
After losing Michael Olise and Omar Richards in the summer transfer window, it was always going to be difficult for the Royals to draft in sufficient replacements for this particular duo.
Whilst Paunovic’s side have shown glimpses of promise in an attacking sense in recent weeks, it is abundantly clear that they need to improve defensively if they are to have any chance of achieving a relative amount of success this season.
By addressing this problem, Reading could potentially push on in the second-tier later this year.