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For a team that narrowly missed out on promotion last season and a team that only got relegated from the Premier League last season you would expect some high quality football to be on show…this turned out not to be the case at the Madejski stadium on Saturday.
Both teams have made a slow start to their campaigns with them sitting in the lower half of the table and this showed with their performances on the field. In a game of little clear cut chances Hull took their opportunity when it came to them and capitalised on some very static defending from Reading in the 28th minute through Fraizer Campbell. Under Jaam Stam there has been little booing from the fans but after a difficult start to the season at half time there seemed to be some clear hostility from fans towards Reading’s performance.
In the second half it was clear to see Hull were going to sit back, absorb the pressure and try catch Reading on the counter attack. Although Reading had 74% in the game they were unable to create many good chances and that showed with only 3 shots on target throughout the game.
This has been a concern for Reading fans in that when the team go behind they fail to adapt to the game situation and find a plan B to break down the opposition. This happened when Bristol City were the visitors a fortnight ago, Reading had all the possession during the game however they failed to convert chances. Although in that game they got punished with Bristol winning 1-0 with a scrappy goal in the 85th minute, this was not the case against Hull.
Jaap made changes and was rewarded when he brought on Reading’s only fit out and out striker Jon Dadi Bodvarsson who scored a well taken goal in the 87th minute to prevent Reading loosing at home for a second time this season. In what was a very average performance from a Reading fan’s perspective you would have taken a point by the end of the game.
On reflection this game was worrying for Reading as when a team is creating chances and not scoring goals you know eventually the goals will come because the build-up play is there. It was a concern in this game because it never looked like Reading would score and the Hull goalkeeper McGregor really had little to do throughout.
This lack of goals has now become a prominent issue with Reading only scoring 7 goals in 8 games so far this season and with Jaap choosing not to start our only fit striker it shows that the trust may not be there yet. Hopefully this goal for Bodvarsson will give him the boost in confidence he needs to progress and become a prominent starter and scorer for the team.
Being the eternal optimist let’s hope that this lack of creativity in the final third is down to Reading players still needing time to gel since there has been plenty of Summer additions. The quality is definitely there but Reading do need somebody to step up and start scoring the goals otherwise I fear after this performance against Hull that teams such as Leeds, Wolves and Cardiff could start to pull away even at this early stage.
Saying that though this is the Championship and a couple of wins can really push a team further up the table and even though you could say both Hull and Reading have had slow starts they both sit only 6 points off the play-off positions.