News and Views

Fresh Pressure On Reading As Birmingham Visit

02 January 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?

It's not been a good Christmas for Reading fans after Jaap Stam's side managed to pick up just a single point from three festive fixtures. Before Christmas got underway the Royals were sunk at home by relegation favourites Burton Albion after gifting the visitors the full three points. It went from bad to worse on Boxing Day with a poor performance at Bristol City as Reading slumped to a two goal to nothing defeat. Yann Kermorgant finally made his way onto the scoresheet last weekend with his first goal of the season after returning from injury, but his goal still wasn't enough to prevent Reading surrendering two points right at the death as strugglers Barnsley took a share of the points. Bristol City are doing well at the top of the table but dropping points to Burton and then Barnsley has started the alarm bells ringing once more.

The poor points return over Christmas extended Reading's miserable run to five games without a victory. Those five games have seen Reading pick up just two points from a possible 15. Reading's run up the table during November, which now appears to have given us false hope, feels like a distant memory as the Royals find themselves back down to 17th in the Championship table and just four points out of the relegation zone.

Tonight's visitors are bottom of the table Birmingham City. The Blues have picked up just 20 points all season (from 25 games so far) and have failed to win a single league match on the road. Birmingham have picked up just three points all season from their 12 away league matches. If there was ever a game Reading fans expect to win it is this one. Failure to win tonight would surely exponentially increase the pressure on Reading manager Jaap Stam. This time last month Reading fans were celebrating a 3-1 victory over Sunderland and a late challenge for the play-offs was sneaking into post-match conversations. Those hopes have since evaporated and instead it will be the "R" word heavily featured in discussions - should Birmingham leave tonight with the win. However, it's not all doom and gloom as a Reading victory tonight would see us climb back up to 15th.

Ominously Birmingham have had a draw on the road at Sunderland, and a home victory over Leeds in their last three games. Although that might not be seen as exactly "hot form" it could well be something for them to build on as they come to the Madejski Stadium looking for their first away win of the campaign. If they are ever going to win away from home they'd fancy this as an opportunity after seeing Burton Albion leave with three points.

Reading found some form back in November when they fielded an unchanged side in consecutive games for the first team in the entire season. Stam shuffled his team around on the back of some good wins and found everything crumble around him once again. It remains consistency that is the problem for Reading, but something needs to change again after some poor results. It seems highly likely there will be fresh, and necessary, changes tonight. Liam Kelly could find himself back in the side while Kermorgant will be hoping for another full ninety minutes after playing the whole game at Barnsley.


Recent Meetings With Birmingham City

26 August 2017 Championship Birmingham (Away) W: 2-0 Read report...
31 January 2017 Championship Birmingham (Away) W: 1-0 Read report...
13 September 2016 Championship Birmingham (HOME) D: 0-0 Read report...
09 April 2016 Championship Birmingham (HOME) L: 0-2 Read report...
08 August 2015 Championship Birmingham (Away) L: 1-2 Read report...
22 April 2015 Championship Birmingham (HOME) L: 0-1 Read report...
13 December 2014 Championship Birmingham (Away) L: 1-6 Read report...
22 March 2014 Championship Birmingham (Away) W: 2-1 Read report...
28 September 2013 Championship Birmingham (HOME) W: 2-0 Read report...
28 April 2012 Championship Birmingham (Away) L: 0-2 Read report...
06 November 2011 Championship Birmingham (HOME) W: 1-0 Read report...


Discussion On This Story:


» 30 Dec 2017 17:20


When : Tuesday, 2nd January, 8pm
Where : Madejski Stadium, Reading, RG2 0FL
Capacity : 24,161

Another go at winning home game arrives but this time there’s an actual chance the attempt might be successful owing to the lack of a Saturday.

Birmingham are struggling quite badly but then so were Burton and we all know what sort of miserable tripe was served up for that visit, therefore this game is not going to be easy despite the facts that Birmingham are bottom of the table, haven’t won away all season (3 draws only thus far) and have only hit 5 goals in 12 away games.

Can’t be worse than Burton, Bristol and Barnsley can it?


James Linington



09 Sep 17 > Reading 0-1 Bristol City
08 Apr 17 > Norwich City 7-1 Reading
24 Sep 16 > Reading 1-0 Huddersfield Town
21 Nov 15 > Reading 2-1 Bolton Wanderers
02 May 15 > Derby County 0-3 Reading
28 Dec 14 > Reading 2-1 Norwich City
21 Nov 14 > Cardiff City 2-1 Reading
12 Aug 14 > Reading 3-1 Newport County (League Cup)
10 Sep 11 > Reading 0-2 Watford
30 Apr 11 > Coventry City 0-0 Reading
22 Jan 11 > Reading 1-1 Hull City
02 May 10 > Reading 4-0 Preston North End
30 Jan 10 > Reading 1-0 Barnsley


No meetings before 1986 in any competition

It took 8 games to record the first home win

In 15 previous home league games Reading have managed just 4 wins compared to 5 from Birmingham

How to follow the game

  1. Get a ticket and travel to the Mad Stad

  2. Listen to Radio 5 Live and/or a myriad of other radio stations for score flashes

  3. Ring/text a mate for updates

  4. Use an iFollow subscription

  5. BBC Radio Berkshire (FM : 104.4, 104.1 or 95.4 depending where you are in the area)


» 30 Dec 2017 18:45

Stam is certainly gonna give it a go. Birmingham are going to come here believing they can win, especially after watching how bad we are this season. Not in the business of wanting us to lose to make a point, but can already picture the meltdown when city bundle in a crap later winner in front of their fans.


» 30 Dec 2017 22:36



» 30 Dec 2017 22:50

I can see this being a dire game. I can hardly wait.


» 31 Dec 2017 00:01

The boys will turn up to lose or draw. Play half decent of course, but not many now want to play for the Dutchman, they want rid of him, recent results say as much. It’s a mess.


» 31 Dec 2017 00:35

Oh look, Oilroyal's spouting baseless nonsense again


» 31 Dec 2017 00:38

Stolen your spot of nosencness! You are an online diva


» 31 Dec 2017 00:39

Someone's been drinking, I fear


» 31 Dec 2017 00:39



» 31 Dec 2017 00:40

Don't blame you mate. Questioning the integrity of the players is a bit much though.


» 31 Dec 2017 00:45

Most multi-millionaires, or plan to be millionairs at some point and most not showing their true potential under Stam… Do you think our players are happy then, do you think our players cant force a change within the club?


» 31 Dec 2017 00:52

I don't know if the players are happy with him. They might not be. That doesn't mean they are willingly conspiring to get him sacked and a bad run of results doesn't automatically mean they are downing tools... that's nonsense. Our confidence is just shot to pieces.

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