Good last 20 minutes and new bloke should have scored in the last minute with a header my Mum could have scored with to grab a famous victory. Overall though poor and McDonut imho has done absolutely nothing the raise the tempo or spirit of the side . The so called new manager impact has been non existent . As one who's not the biggest fan of HRK I thought he had a good game and Gunters certain goal scoring tackle to stop them going 2-0 up was tremendous.Still a good point, wth mid table looking a more than likely finish this season good cup run again would be nice
Really strong performances from Robson-Kanu, Williams and Gunter. Norwood was pretty poor. Piazon ineffectual. It was a horrible goal to concede - too many players standing around waiting for someone else to take charge.
Brian at least had the sense to undo the starting formation that he got totally wrong. And I mean that in a good way - before he used to seem reluctant to makes changes.
The other real positive was the courage shown. Even though they weren't playing well and were a goal down to a decent (if unspectacular) side, they really ramped it up, and ended playing well enough to just about win on points.
Decent entertainment - and if you'd offered me a point and a goal direct from a corner at the start of the game I'd have taken it.
That was exciting-yes I know I lead a sad life ! I was really worried 1st 20 minutes as they played us off the park-and looked the best team we have had here all season(or last). Then they put up shop & we dominated the rest of the game & should have/could have won.
Al Habsi : 6 Nothing to do.
Gunter : 6 Normal service. Obita : 8 I thought he was back to his best-particularly in the 1st half-lost a bit when OLa came on. Anton : 6 In trouble a couple of times-but got himself out of it. Cooper: 7 Dodgy 1st half -kept on giving the ball away with poor passes-but made it up , because of the goal.
Ollie: 6 Sheff Weds covered his passing options -so he repeatedly had to pass it square & then gave away possession when he became over ambitious. Evans : 6 Solid -but is such a similar player to Ollie. Hal: 6 Good 2nd half Williams : 7 His first touch repeatedly lets him down-but he tries all day long & really does provide a lot of drive. Piazon : 3 He now looks surplus to requirements, with Evans arrival. Vydra: 5 I missed Tuesday night & I was hoping he would really come alive today-but with the pen miss-same old, same old.
John: 6 What do you say about him-nobody knows what he is going to do. Kermit 7: A real centre forward at last-but a bad miss.
Lastly the Ref-I know I hate them -but occasionally you get a good one. Sadly he was as bad-if not worse than anything we have had this season. He did nothing about Wednesdays time wasting (3 minutes extra time ?) although he kept on threatening to do so. Surely the League can come up with better than this ? He should have done something about the gamesmanship on the penalty by the Goalie-let Vydra take it again ? But there isn't a Ref on the planet who does anything about this .
I think BMc wanted to play Evans because he can't play next week in the cup.
I also wonder if he expects to lose Norwood and/or Williams.
Evans can play CB, so maybe he can also play disciplined DM in front of the back four?
Evans looked very nervous early on, but to some extent it looked like he hadn't had his position made totally clear. But I thought the problem with the side was more to do with yet another team being faster and more aggressive in midfield.
Not so long ago sides backed off and we had time to play. This much more in-yer-face pressing is relatively new and it looks to me like we haven't yet come to terms with it.
HRK was sold on the left, great when he moved to the right. Frankly, this season he's getting close to his best.
Thought Obita had an excellent game, much better than Taylor, and I can't remember Gunter ever playing better than he did today. Saved a goal for sure.
Vydra won two yellow cards and a penalty (which shows how useful he is and how hard he is to stop). Shame he missed the penalty, but hitting the post is so close to going in. i.e.: he didn't blaze ten feet over or wide.
The common view seems to be that we didn't do so well first half because of "imbalance". I disagree. iMO it was because Wednesday were very up for it and were in our faces (and also that Evans was a rabbit-in-the-headlights for the first 20 minutes)
We really should have nicked it with the free header for Kermie
Poor first half and we need to start turning up at the kick off rather than 20 minutes after it. Cooper guilty of a bit of inexperience trying to force a pass when nobody in front of him was interested enough to actually look for some space to receive the ball. Vydra did well to get the penalty and once again worked hard but any confidence he gained from the hat trick the other night looked to evaporate once he missed the penalty.
Good second half and the substitutions changed the game giving us more shape and balance. Debutantes didn't look great but they're only just settling in and I'm sure Evans was probably just nervous given his age. Kermogant really should have won us the game at the end but he gave us a little something extra that Piazon has no hope of matching.
Good to see Obita back, gave us much more attacking wise than Taylor does and defended pretty well as well.
I thought it was an entertaining game which, in the end, we should have won. The first 25 minutes were reminiscent of the first 25 against Huddersfield. We looked slow and lethargic and Wednesday played well and were winning virtually all the loose balls. Their goal originated from a disastrous Cooper pass direct to one of their players but they just seemed to walk through our defence to score. It was nothing more than they deserved though as they had already hit the post earlier.
The penalty (soft I thought) provided us a life-line that Vydra spurned. Let's hope that miss hasn't eroded his recently acquired confidence! Thereafter Reading played themselves back into the game and it was a pretty even game by the time HT came. Brian had elected to start with Evans who looked somewhat lost and I think he may have been expecting more movement up-front. He looked comfortable on the ball and he certainly has potential but it wasn't a very auspicious start to his Reading career. It was good to have Obita back and he had a good game.
Kermorgant replaced Piazon, who was pretty ineffective, for the second half and Reading gradually took over the game. When John replaced Evans and Williams moved to a central role it was all Reading! In fact Williams was so influential in that second half that he was my MOTM. HRK also played well particularly when he moved to the right and linked with Gunter. He also played better on the right against Huddersfield although, predictably, cut inside too often.
Cooper redeemed himself by scoring the equaliser from a corner, no less!! Norwood had a quiet game by his standards; Vydra worked hard and was constantly fouled. The defence looked languid and slow when we were crying out for a quick break but I think they will be OK once McShane is back to inject some urgency into them. Gunter played well in attack today but he is guilty of slowing things down in defence. So is Ferdinand but that is his style and he is a pretty solid and reassuring figure at the back.
Fermorgant missed an easy header (from where I was sitting) to win us all 3 points but I thought he did OK. He could be a near perfect partner for Vydra and if the two 'click' it could work very well for us. Some of the extreme criticism of Brian, I think, is premature. He is still tinkering with the line-up and getting to know the players and their strengths and weaknesses. I wasn't a great supporter of his return but I'd back him to get it right soon!
I think the starting 11 was always likely to be lacking a bit of balance today. If Quinn wasn't injured I think he'd have started but that option wasn't available. John hasn't really impressed me when he's started games and certainly seems unlikely to last 90 minutes so I can understand the thought process of wanting to bring him on in the second half and try to build momentum. If he'd started we'd probably have just had to replace him anyway and wouldn't have had someone available on the bench to make the impact he tends to do so we'd have risked losing momentum instead. I don't think playing Williams on the right especially worked but I guess the other main options if you're not starting John were Hurtado, Obita and Piazon. Hurtado hasn't really impressed so far and Piazon/Obita haven't done too much when played on the wing before. I can understand the temptation to give Evans his debut and try and have a solid midfield for the first half before going more attacking in the second 45. If McCleary remains injured I'd guess McDermott will try something different in the next game - quite possibly Quinn if he's fit.
I don't think Evans had a great debut but if I recall correctly Sidwell dipped in and out of the team for the first 6 months after signing. I think Evans will be a good signing overall. We do have plenty of options in central midfield currently but it's about whether we'll still have those options a year or two from now.
Keermogant looked good when he came on. I think he'll be a decent signing for us and will be in the starting line-up soon enough.
Cooper looked very shaky at times in the first half but seemed to recover in the second and great that we were able to score from a corner! It's also encouraging that we continue to show the spirit to come from behind, although as Brian says we clearly need to work on how we start matches. I thought Sheffield Wednesday looked very good at times in the first half so in a sense I'm pleased to get a point, albeit we had a few chances near the end to nick it and reducing the play-off gap to 8 would have seemed significant. Hopefully we can narrow the gap on Ipswich by beating them in our next league match.
I still wouldn't completely rule out the play-offs. I was looking at a league table from February 19th 2011 and we were 9 points off the play-offs that day having drawn at home to Watford and ended up finishing 5th. It will take a pretty special run to do it but we've seen it before both from McDermott and this side near the start of the season. But actually as long as we're playing well and manage to pick up some wins I'm sure it matters too much to morale around the place if we don't make them - in 09/10 it always looked like they'd be just beyond us but the second half of that season was one of the most enjoyable periods of football I've seen from us and I know others feel similar. Equally, last season it always looked like we'd just about survive but there was still plenty of criticism when we weren't scoring/losing matches. Ultimately I think a lot of fans just turn up on a Saturday afternoon and want us to win that match, regardless of the consequences for the overall season. So long as we pick up some good results over the last few months of the season and ideally have a decent cup run then I'll be happy, even if we're not quite able to make the play-offs.
A poor goal to concede...and yes, let's blame our youngster ( who's' fault it was)... But Wednesday scored, defended deep...gave up on coming forward.....frustrated our offence...relied on breakaway offence for themselves......and basically did the classic time wasting job from 30 minutes into the game.
Funny to see them change tack after our youngster scored
All in all...the pocession was all ours....the defence was all there's.........an enjoyable 1-1
Great to see and hear more positivity in the stands. The fans stuck with the team, even Vydra when he missed from the spot. Surprise surprise, the players responded to this and had a great second half. Usual fall guys Hrk and Gunter had their best games, Gunters crossing had more fizz at times.
Ferdinand had a positive influence on Cooper after their goal, loads of encouragement, great professional.
Brian seems to have lifted the mood and performance, I think the results are coming too.