A season that started with promise under Veljko Paunovic ended with relief under Paul Ince, with the latter breathing a sigh of relief after safety in the second tier was finally secure after Peterborough lost at home to Nottingham Forest.
It’s been a season to forget for the Royals for a number of reasons. Poor performances, transfer embargo’s and points deductions have taken it’s toll on a club that should be competing higher in the table.
But now safety is confirmed, attentions should turn to the summer as the club looks to iron out a long list of issues facing the club as they look navigate itself away from another relegation battle.
Many supporters may be thinking that this season could repeat itself, but it doesn’t have to if the club sorts these three issues it faces before the start of next season.
Getting the managerial situation sorted before the last game of the season should be high on the agenda for the Reading heirachy. It remains to be seen as to whether Ince has done enough to convince the board that he’s the right man to steer the Royals into the future, but what is clear is the need to wrap the matter up quickly.
It will allow for pre-season planning to be conducted, as well as squad reshaping. After all, who will want to join a club that doesn’t have a manager?
The squad is need of major surgery this summer. There are several first team stars out of contract, including John Swift, Andy Yiadom, Josh Laurent, and Tom Holmes.
Tht’s without mentioning the loan players who will be returning to their parent clubs. That means in total, there 18 players due to leave next season, with just seven first team players contracted to next season or beyond.
It’s a worrying time for Reading, and with them needing to operate under strict rules due to the business plan, it will difficult convincing the likes of Swift, Yiadom and more to stay.
Getting the fans back on board
It wasn’t long ago that the Reading fans confronted the team bus leaving Peterborough as they limped to a 0-0 draw.
However, performances have improved since then and the new season means a fresh start for everyone. That should serve as an opportunity for the club to repair it’s reputation and relationship with it’s supporters that has grown distant as the season has worn on.
Supporters can be like a 12th man in games, so ensuring the club and supporters are as one could go a long way to Reading being successful next season.