Hob Nob Anyone? News and Views Latest updates on Hob Nob Anyone? - The Reading Football Club Fans' Website http://www.royals.org/news.php Sun, 22 Jan 2017 12:05:27 GMT Sun, 22 Jan 2017 12:05:27 GMT 1800 Tiago Ilori Officially Completes Move To Reading Tiago Ilori has finally - and officially - completed his move to Reading FC. His transfer had been expected to complete "tomorrow" every day over the past two weeks, but he has finally been unveiled as a Reading player this morning. The 23 year old central defender has signed a three and a half year contract with Reading and signs for an undisclosed fee that is believed to be worth over GBP3.5 million to Liverpool. <br/><br/> Ilori signed for Liverpool in September 2013 from Sporting Lisbon but failed to make an impact for the club after failing to appear in the Premier League. The player has been restricted to just three FA Cup appearances - which all came last season. He featured in a 2-2 draw with Exeter, a 3-0 replay win at Anfield, before Liverpool were dumped out of the cup at the hands of West Ham United. Before that he had loan spells at Granada, Bordeux and Aston Villa - but failed to make a competitive appearance with the Villians. <br/><br/> Yesterday Gareth McCleary fought his way through promotional cans of Carabao to put pen to paper and extend his contract for a further three years. McCleary's contract was set to expire in the summer and he was widely expected to be on his way out of the club. His new contract came as a bit of a surprise but it great news as Reading look set to keep this squad together during this transfer window and extend it with the addition of Ilori. <br/><br/> <strong>See also:</strong> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/news/612/Tiago_Ilori_Set_To_Sign_From_Liverpool">Tiago Ilori Set To Sign From Liverpool</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/618/Tiago_Ilori_Officially_Completes_Move_To_Reading 618 Wed, 18 Jan 2017 10:33:24 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? QPR Defeat - Post Match Talking Points <p> Reading's impressive home run in the Championship came to an end on Thursday evening courtesy of a 1-0 defeat to QPR. Rangers were seventeenth in the league prior to kick-off but ex-Royal Jamie Mackie scored the only goal of the game to seal their third league win in a row. <br/><br/> Here are some of the talking points from the game: </p> <p> <strong>Ilori Transfer An Increasing Necessity</strong> <br/><br/> Among the many concerns that arose from the defeat, the defence was probably the worst of the lot. The usually reliable combination of Ali Al-Habsi, Paul McShane and Liam Moore has been split up in recent games due to the injury sustained by McShane. <br/><br/> While he recovers, Stam has resorted to playing Joey van den Berg in the centre of defence. This is where a lot of the problems have surfaced, with the Dutchman's temperament and brash style of play getting him and the team in a fair amount of trouble (to say the least). <br/><br/> The recent return of Rob Dickie and the continuous inclusion of Jake Cooper on the bench shows that Reading do have natural options when it comes to the centre-back position. Dickie, however, has not had any real experience at Championship level and Cooper has fallen out of favour since Stam's arrival. <br/><br/> McShane's absence has demonstrated how important it is to have experience in the centre of defence and it is for this reason that the Tiago Ilori transfer needs to go through. Ilori is still young at 23, but he attracted the attention of Liverpool and has represented Portugal from U18 to U23 level. <br/><br/> While he has less experience at Premier League level than McShane and Moore, Ilori should offer a welcome option in defence. His arrival would also provide the option of returning to a seemingly successful formation of having three centre-backs and two full-backs. Most importantly, it would also prevent the likes of van den Berg from playing there. </p> <p> <strong>Troubling Takeover Talk</strong> <br/><br/> The QPR defeat will have been a worry following the FA Cup exit against Manchester United, but one of the major concerns will be the talk surrounding the takeover. You need only cast your mind back a few years to remind yourself of the saga surrounding Anton Zingarevich but it is a period that many would like to forget. In September 2014, a Thai consortium purchased 100% of Reading FC from Sir John Madejski. Since then they have helped to finance a number of signings including the likes of John Swift and Liam Moore (to name only a couple) who have already become fan favourites. <br/><br/> With their speeches to the fans from the pitch, the Reading FC themed song that we sadly cannot forget, pitch-side pyros and trips to sit with fans during matches, the Thais at one time seemed to be fully immersed in Reading FC and its fan-base. Now it appears to have all been a facade with the Thais only concern being the redevelopment of land around the stadium. <br/><br/> Ahead of the January transfer window, the Thais are aiming to sell the stadium, the club and the training ground to Chinese brother and sister Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li. The duo famously tried to buy Hull earlier this year but failed the FA's fit and proper person test. Subsequently, with the plausibility of Reading achieving promotion at the end of this season, there is some concern surrounding this potential purchase. <br/><br/> In a season where Jaap Stam is performing above expectation, the last thing he or the team needs is unwarranted uncertainty and distraction regarding the ownership. Stam felt he had the full backing of the Thais when they came on board but it turns out that was not the case. The January transfer window is upon us and in an ideal world I am sure Stam will want to build upon his pre-existing squad in order to continue pushing for promotion. <br/><br/> The drama surrounding the ownership is not only potentially derailing any transfer plans but it is also risking Stam's future at the club. Stam has shown that he has the ability to succeed in a managerial capacity and is working wonders with a club that has under-performed in recent years. While I do not believe it is enough to force Stam out the door at the current time, it is an unwelcome distraction that needs to be quashed as soon as possible. </p> <p> <strong>Toothless In Attack</strong> <br/><br/> Much has been said about Reading's possession based style of play and subsequently teams come to the Madejski Stadium with a willingness to sit back and defend deep. It is a tactic that fans will see time and time again this season, with the occasional opponent willing to press Reading slightly higher up the pitch. <br/><br/> The concern is that in some games, such as against QPR, Reading are unable to break down stubborn defences that sit deep. When opponents regain possession and push players forward, the Royals don't counter with speed either. Yann Kermorgant has managed to get a fair few goals this season which is impressive bearing in mind his sole striker status. Against QPR he had two particularly good headed opportunities but failed to get them on target. <br/><br/> With Reading struggling to get a goal, many will have looked to young Dominic Samuel to try something different up front. The issue is that with such limited space available to the Royals, the striker who relies on getting in behind defences would have struggled. <br/><br/> Stam also clearly has a number of different tactics up his sleeve and several formations in his canon. Against QPR he adopted a plan that saw Danny Williams take up the strange positioning at times as a right full-back. For whatever reason, players looked confused as to where they were supposed to be and did not know who they were meant to be marking. <br/><br/> The QPR game showed that if Reading go behind at home, they struggle to break down an increasingly defensive and compact style of play. Stam still does not really have a plan B and in games like this such a plan is important to perfect. </p> <p> <strong>Crisis Of Confidence Following FA Cup Exit?</strong> <br/><br/> An FA Cup tie at Old Trafford is not something you experience every day as a professional footballer. There would have undoubtedly been nerves prior to the tie both amongst the players and Stam upon his return to his old club. Unfortunately the nerves showed and Reading gave their opponents too much respect. <br/><br/> Ultimately the score could have been greater than 4-0 but with a quality squad like Manchester United's at his disposal, Jose Mourinho was always the favourite to get the win. The concern for Reading fans will have been whether the team could immediately get that out of their system and re-focus on what had been a good spell in the Championship. The immediate instinct was yes, especially with QPR at home first up. In reality no one seemed up to their usual standards and they struggled to make an impact on Thursday evening. No professional likes to lose and could be suggested that their minds may still be on what happened at Old Trafford rather than back on the job at hand. That or there was simply fatigue amongst players who had been outplayed only a few days prior. <br/><br/> With over a week now to go until the next game, it is even more important to put in a good performance against Derby. </p> http://www.royals.org/news/617/QPR_Defeat_-_Post_Match_Talking_Points 617 Fri, 13 Jan 2017 12:34:37 GMT Alex Bower Reading Frustrated As Fans Stay Away In a game in which Reading dominated possession without ever testing the Rangers 'keeper, John Mackie seized his opportunity midway through the first half to inflict a second home defeat of the season on his former club. It was a workmanlike performance from the visitors, content to sit back and frustrate Reading, and take advantage of mistakes to break out of their own half; and there were plenty of mistakes. It was not a good night for Reading or their fans. Having seen their team significantly underperform they heard Jaap Stam expressing frustration doubts about the uncertainty of ownership and future direction of the club on their journey home.<br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/120117/Reading_0_QPR_1"><strong>Read More...</strong></a> <ul><li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/120117/Reading_0_QPR_1"><strong>Match Report:</strong> Reading 0 QPR 1</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/616/Reading_Frustrated_As_Fans_Stay_Away 616 Fri, 13 Jan 2017 08:48:34 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Lower Turnout Expected As QPR Visit In TV Game It looks set to be a lower crowd than might be expected at the Madejski Stadium tonight after Reading's home game with QPR was moved to Thursday night at the request of Sky TV. The inconvenience of a Thursday evening combines with the forecast of a cold and damp evening as rain, sleet and possible snow clear just before the 8pm kick-off. Although there should be no issues with the game going ahead, many fans may well still be tempted to watch the game on live TV in warm surroundings instead of turning up at the Madejski. <br/><br/> Paul McShane and Callum Harriott are both out for what could be many weeks after picking up recent injuries. Harriott has a hamstring injury sustained in the last minutes of the first half in the fogged off Fulham game, while Paul McShane is sidelined with a fractured wrist. Tiago Ilori will not feature for Reading. His signing from Liverpool was widely reported last week but has taken much longer to officially complete than expected. Future signings in this transfer window also could be doubt with the collapse of the Chinese takeover deal. Reading's Thai owners are expected to only offer very limited funds to manager Jaap Stam to strengthen a club they had been hoping to sell. <br/><br/> Jaap Stam will be aiming to avoid worries of events off the pitch and focus on returning to winning ways after last weekend's thrashing at Old Trafford. The Royals lost 0-4, but the score was generous to Reading if anything as the Royals offered little resistance against a strong Manchester United side. Al Habsi had an excellent game but will be looking to put his one very well reported mistake in that game behind him tonight - hopefully with another cleansheet. <br/><br/> QPR have Kazenga LuaLua available for selection after the winger arrived at QPR from Brighton on loan. <br/><br/> A win for Reading would see them close the gap on Newcastle United in second place to just three points. QPR are down in 17th place after a disappointing campaign so far. Although Reading had no chance in their FA Cup third round fixture, Rangers might have hoped to progress last weekend but instead lost 1-2 at home to Championship strugglers Blackburn. Before that QPR had put a run of six straight Championship defeats behind them. That shocking run was finished with a 2-1 away win at Wolves and another 2-1 victory at home over Ipswich Town as they stopped their slide down the table. <br/><br/> Reading's form is much better with three consecutive league victories in recent weeks. Reading have won 9 games out of their last 11 in the League - an amazing run that has got everyone talking about very much unexpected possibility of promotion. For a change, Reading are firm favourites with the bookies for a win. As everyone says, anyone can beat anyone else in the Championship, and QPR remain difficult opposition according to Stam: "It would be arrogant and misplaced to think that in any game in the Championship we are going to get three points very easily. We have to work very hard and show some quality on the ball, otherwise a well-organised team like QPR can be very hard to score goals against." http://www.royals.org/news/615/Lower_Turnout_Expected_As_QPR_Visit_In_TV_Game 615 Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:42:05 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Hope For Upset At Old Trafford The Royals are on the road this weekend as they make the journey to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup. The game has been much hyped up with the return of Reading manager and former United defender Jaap Stam to Manchester. Stam played a big part in Manchester United's success between 1998 and 2001 - including being part of their famous treble winning side. He insists his return to Old Trafford shouldn't be about him but about his new club attempting to pull off what would be a huge, and massively unlikely, cup upset: "It's nice to go back. I love the club, I love the fans and I had a great time there. But this game is not about me, it's about Reading facing Manchester United at Old Trafford." <br/><br/> The game has attracted a lot of interest from the media with the Jaap Stam angle, and Reading's recent success in the Championship may make it an interesting clash. As with any cup competition game featuring Manchester United, the tie was immediately selected for live TV coverage and will be shown on BT Sport. The game kicks off at 12:30pm which means an early start for nearly 5,500 Reading fans supporting their side at Old Trafford as they attempt to avoid an early exit from the cup. Reading fans will be heading north looking forward to a day out rather than a realistic hope of pulling off a shock, but we can always hope the magic of the cup makes an outing too. Reading's ticket allocation has been sold out for some time, but did go down to general sale, meaning most fans that wanted to go will be there. <br/><br/> When the draw was made BT Sport might have had hopes of screening some kind of upset with Reading up to third in the Championship and Manchester United struggling in the Premier League. However, since then Jose Mourinho has truly turned his club's fortunes around, guiding them to six consecutive Premier League victories. Since the draw the Red Devils have conceded just 3 Premier League goals while picking up maximum points to close the gap on the top four. <br/><br/> The only positive news for Reading fans is that Mourinho is likely to rest some of his star players to give some fringe players a run out. The United boss has confirmed however that Wayne Rooney will start and captain his side. Sergio Romero is confirmed to start in goal. However, even an under-strength United team is likely to be world class and will be expected to dish out a firm defeat to Reading. Mourinho is likely to go with some youth so that will probably include massive future, and current, prospect Marcus Rashford. United are also likely to go Dutch themselves to give some game time to the talented 19 year old Timothy Fosu-Mensah. He made 8 Premier League appearances last season but has clocked up just one so far this term. Luke Shaw is also likely to be included for the home side. <br/><br/> Jaap Stam has fielded reasonably strong sides in the League Cup, and is likely to go with a strong line-up again in the FA Cup. He has also vowed not to change his style of play stating "Our belief is possession. We still want to play." With Stam determined to continue his tactics that have been so successful in the league this season, a dramatic changes of personel seems unlikely. Ali Al Habsi signed a new contract this week to keep him at the Madejski Stadium until the summer of 2019. With Jaakola recently struggling with injury, Al Habsi seems near certain to continue in goal. Callum Harriott will miss out after picking up an injury just before the game against Fulham was abandoned at half time. Blackett will probably be given a chance to play against his old club, although Jordan Obita will be hoping to take his place in the starting eleven. The in-form Liam Kelly will be hoping to be given another starting chance. http://www.royals.org/news/614/Reading_Hope_For_Upset_At_Old_Trafford 614 Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:35:28 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Ali Al Habsi Extends Contract Ali Al Habsi has been rewarded with his continually consistent performances with a contract extension to keep him at Reading until the summer of 2019. Al Habsi was due to be out of contract in the summer after two years with the club, but the new deal secures the services of Reading's first choice goalkeeper. There were plenty of question marks over, and critical nicknames for, Al Habsi when he arrived as seemingly second choice goalkeeper to Bond who signed at the same time. However Al Habsi more than silenced his critics by becoming Reading's main goalkeeper and deservedly winning the fans vote for player of the season last term. <br/><br/> Al Habsi is currently very much in the running to claim the player of the season award for a second consecutive season. He is currently second, behind Liam Moore, in the <a href="http://www.royals.org/man_of_match.php" target="_blank"> Hob Nob Anyone? man of the match voting</a> for the season so far. Al Habsi has been named as man of the match six times so far this season on this website - more than any other player. His best performances came in the early part of the season where there was no doubt his performances earned vital points as the Royals steadied the ship and started their climb up the table. <br/><br/> Talking about Al Habsi committing to a new contract with Reading, Jaap Stam was full of praise for the 35 year old: "As we all know, Ali is a great goalkeeper - a fine shot stopper with good reactions who even at this stage in his career is still improving his game and becoming better and better as a player" <br/><br/> Wigan paid Bolton a four million pound transfer fee in 2011 for the services of Al Habsi and he went on to make well over 100 appearances before signing for Reading after four seasons at Wigan. Al Habsi has made 65 appearances for the Royals since signing - and now looks set for plenty more. http://www.royals.org/news/613/Ali_Al_Habsi_Extends_Contract 613 Thu, 05 Jan 2017 16:46:46 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Tiago Ilori Set To Sign From Liverpool Rumours are gathering pace that Reading are set to complete the signing of Liverpool defender Tiago Ilori. Initial rumours suggested Ilori would be signing on a loan basis, but the Liverpool Echo are now reporting that the transfer deal has been done with Reading set to pay 3.75 milllion pounds for the player. Ilori joined Liverpool in a deal worth seven million pounds in September 2013 from Sporting Lisbon. Half of that fee was initially payable but other payments have failed to trigger with Ilori failing to break into the Reds first team and not making a single Premier League appearance during his time in Liverpool. <Br/><br/> The player has been restricted to just three FA Cup appearances - which all came last season. He featured in a 2-2 draw with Exeter, a 3-0 replay win at Anfield, before Liverpool were dumped out of the cup at the hands of West Ham United. Before that he had loan spells at Granada, Bordeux and Aston Villa - but failed to make a competitive appearance with the Villians. <br/><br/> Ilori, initially from Portugal, is 23 years old and is reported to a tall, fast, left footed central defender. He played 33 times for Sporting while also playing for the Portugal youth teams, which attracted Liverpool to pay such a large transfer fee at the start of the 2013/2014 season. Despite his lack of Premier League action he continued to work through the Portugal national set-up and has ten under 21 caps and 3 for Portual's under 23s. http://www.royals.org/news/612/Tiago_Ilori_Set_To_Sign_From_Liverpool 612 Thu, 05 Jan 2017 14:15:09 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Fulham Match Abandoned As Fog Clears A moment of crass stupidity and gross incompetence by referee James Linington ruined an evening's entertainment for thousands of football fans at the Madejski Stadium this evening. Before setting off on my sixty mile journey to this evening's game I took the precaution of checking the weather forecast. The BBC website predicted thick fog around 8.00 p.m. clearing quickly around 9.00 p.m. It would appear referee Linington failed to consider the weather forecast as an indicator of how the weather might change during the course of the game. Regardless of this oversight he allowed the game to begin as the fog rolled in. Conditions worsened as the game progressed, but not sufficiently to warrant abandonment. As half time approached, as predicted, the fog began to lift, and when the second half was due to begin there was little evidence of any fog anywhere - apart from in the space between Mr Linington's ears! <br/><br/> Without bothering to step out onto pitch he decided to abandon the game on the basis of his assistants' opinion that the other side of the pitch was not visible thereby making it difficult to make accurate decisions. (They seemed to be having just as much difficulty spotting incidents, such as a blatant tug on Kermorgant's arm in the penalty area as he moved towards the ball, occurring right under their nose. As far as I was aware the referee should allow the game to continue as long as he is able to see both goals from the centre of the pitch. Had he bothered to check before he made his absurd decision, he would have found visibility more than adequate to see across the pitch as thousands of spectators would verify. The stadium announcer declared the fog to be "worse outside the ground" which made all the more galling as we all queued in perfect visibility to leave the car park which for some reason took much linger that usual. The decision to abandon the game after everyone had purchased their half time refreshment and had settled down in their seats for the second half. As Mr Linington is employed by the Football League they should compensate the spectators (liable due to referee's error!) <br/><br/> In spite of the conditions the first half was keenly contested. Fulham may have had slightly more possession but Reading created the two best chances. McCleary beat the offside trap with a superbly timed run but a poor touch hampered his chances of making the most of the opportunity. He still managed to get his shot away but by then Bettinelli had set himself and turned the ball wide for a corner. McCleary should have scored but he usually finishes more convincingly when he does not have some much time to make his decision about how to beat the 'keeper. There second effort came in stoppage time and was a brilliant solo effort from Harriot who wriggled past lunging defenders to unleash a thunderbolt which Bettinelli saved at full stretch. Sadly he put so much into his shot he appeared to have torn his hamstring and limped off for what looks like being a lengthy lay off. <br/><br/> Both teams played well in spite of being closed down very quickly all over the pitch with Fulham edging control of midfield. Kelly in no way shirked a challenge but was simply overpowered by the Fulham's physical presence. In view of the recent drubbing at Craven Cottage Jaap Stam's team had a much more secure look about them - apart the left side where the visitors seemed to get behind the defence with alarming regularity. (This also happened in the game on Boxing Day.) Also worth noting the absence of Moore in the heavy away defeat was significant. He was excellent again this evening. His full blooded challenge on Aluko was worthy of a Tackle of the Season Award. <br/><br/> It is hard to say which way the result might have gone but it was cracking first half with two very good sides going at each other with some intensity. It promised to be an even better second half but thanks to Mr Linington it did not happen. Fulham looked as good as any team I have seen in this league this season and I am looking forward to the re-arranged fixture whenever that may be. So at the mid-point in the season the Royals find themselves in third place in the table. It looks like being a happy new year for their fans. http://www.royals.org/news/611/Fulham_Match_Abandoned_As_Fog_Clears 611 Sat, 31 Dec 2016 08:53:39 GMT John Wells Fulham Look To End Reading Home Run Reading will be looking to extend their home winning run to six games on Friday night at the Madejski Stadium. The Royals face play-off rivals Fulham, for an 8pm kick-off, after making it five consecutive home wins with a 3-1 Boxing Day victory over Norwich City. That victory saw Reading close the gap on second place to six points at the midway point of the season. The Canaries were a team expecting big things this season, but arrived at Reading out of form and on a dramatic slide down the Championship table. Fulham will be an entirely different test after hitting form as they continue their climb up the table. Fulham are four points away from the play-off positions after an impressive 2-0 away win at Ipswich on Boxing Day. <br/><br/> The Cottagers are unbeaten in five games - a run that began with their 5-0 thrashing of the Royals at their place at the start of December. Reading were very much second best that Saturday afternoon and were already looking a beaten side before Danny Williams was sent off just nine minutes into the second half. The Royals have won 3 out of 4 since the collapse at Craven Cottage, and will be looking for revenge, and more importantly more points to keep pace with the top two. Danny Williams will be hoping for a longer stay on the pitch. Meanwhile John Swift will be pushing for more match time after making his return from injury on Monday afternoon. Swift came on to play the last 13 minutes and looked fully recovered and will be hopeful for a place in the starting eleven. Kermorgant scored before embarrassing himself from the penalty spot but will be looking to keep hold of his place as manager Jaap Stam looks to have options in all departments again. <br/><br/> Fulham are favouries for an away win with <a href="http://yourmobilecasinos.com/review/ladbrokes-casino-bonus-code/" target="_blank">Ladbrokes</a> - probably after their recent 5-0 demolition job on the Royals: <ul> <li><strong>Reading win:</strong> 15/8</li> <li><strong>The draw:</strong> 12/5</li> <li><strong>Fulham win:</strong> 11/8</li> </ul> <p> That big defeat for Reading against Fulham made it three defeats out of four in our recent meetings. Our last win was a 3-0 victory at the Madejski Stadium in September 2014 with two goals from Glenn Murray and one from Nick Blackman. Since then we've conceeded 13 goals in 4 games to Fulham - with three defeats and a home draw that came last season. Reading will be looking to make the most of home advantage and improve their recent form against the visitors. </p> <h3>Recent Meetings With FULHAM</h3> <table border="0" class="fixtures" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="2" width="100%" style="border:0"> <tr> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>DATE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>COMPETITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>OPPOSITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>SCORE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>REPORT</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">03 December 2016 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/031216.html">Fulham (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-5</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/031216.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">05 March 2016 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/050316.html">Fulham (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 2-2</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/050316.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">24 October 2015 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/241015.html">Fulham (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 2-4</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/241015.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">17 January 2015 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/170115.html">Fulham (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/170115.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">13 September 2014 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/130914.html">Fulham (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 3-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/130914.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">04 May 2013 </td> <td class="fixtures">Premier League</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/040513.html">Fulham (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 4-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/040513.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">27 October 2012 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Premier League</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/271012.html">Fulham (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 3-3</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/271012.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">12 April 2008 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Premiership</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/120408.html">Fulham (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-2</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/120408.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">03 November 2007 </td> <td class="fixtures">Premiership</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/031107.html">Fulham (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-3</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/031107.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">14 April 2007 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Premiership</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/140407.html">Fulham (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 1-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/140407.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">25 November 2006 </td> <td class="fixtures">Premiership</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/251106.html">Fulham (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 1-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/251106.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">05 April 1999 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Division Two</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/050499.html">Fulham (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/050499.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">23 February 1999 </td> <td class="fixtures">Division Two</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/230299.html">Fulham (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-3</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/230299.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/610/Fulham_Look_To_End_Reading_Home_Run 610 Thu, 29 Dec 2016 15:36:41 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Make It Five Consecutive Home Wins After a dull first forty-five minutes which saw Reading take a the lead as half time approached, the game came to life to produce a highly entertaining second half as the Royals went on to secure an impressive fifth successive home victory. City pressed and contained Reading in a first half of few chances only to fall behind to a rare moment of high quality football. Kermorgant guided Kelly's free-kick into the net with a subtle glancing header. Early in the second half City briefly reproduced the kind of play which enabled them to recently hold their own in the Premier League, and deservedly equalised through Oliveira. The lead was short-lived, and as the game opened up, Reading regained their lead. City were reduced to ten men and Harriot finished them off with a brilliant third goal. <br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/261216/Reading_3_Norwich_1"><strong>Read More...</strong></a> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/261216/Reading_3_Norwich_1"><strong>Match Report:</strong> Reading 3 Norwich City 1</ul> http://www.royals.org/news/609/Reading_Make_It_Five_Consecutive_Home_Wins 609 Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:01:30 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Norwich Visit Reading In Desperate Need For Points Reading enter Christmas in third place in the Championship - having massively exceeded expectations in the season so far. The visitors on Boxing Day are a side that, after a very bright start, have been hugely disappointing. With Norwich in tenth place and Reading in third, a reverse in positions would have been much more likely and was nearly the case just a couple of months ago. The Canaries were top of the table after 12 games, with the Royals back in 8th spot. Norwich visit the Madejski Stadium with manager Alex Neil under intense pressure. With fans still hopeful for a return to the Premier League, a defeat for his side at Reading could well mean he is shown the door. <Br/><br/> Football fans are more than fickle. Right now Jaap Stam is gathering immense support and praise from Reading fans, and the media, as he has introduced a new type of football to the club, and the results have swung in our favour. However, earlier in the season, after a handful of poor results, Stam was fighting off the criticism and vowing to stick to his tactics of passing possession football. It has paid off for Stam, and you have to admire his perseverance that has led to success on the pitch. Sure, we lost at Leeds and got labelled as "boring, boring Reading" in the process but the results in general are starting to speak for themselves. <Br/><br/> The Royals will have Danny Williams returning from suspension and is likely to feature for the first time since the 0-5 thrashing at Fulham. Since then Reading have collected six points from a possible nine to retain that third place. At the Madejski Stadium we have now had four straight wins and only let in two goals. Meanwhile, Norwich have lost four consecutive away games in the League as they slip down the table. Nearly everyone would point to a Reading win, but some bookmakers seem to believe City are capable of turning their season around. On <a href="https://www.10bet.co.uk/sports/football/" target="_blank">10Bet football betting</a> the Canaries are favourites for the win at 31/20. Reading are due to drop points at home but it's hard to see why Norwich are favourites with Reading looking to hold that third spot. <Br/><br/> The last time the two sides were in the Championship together was in the 2014/2015 season when Reading secured six points out of six with two 2-1 victories both home and away. None of those goalscorers are likely to be in action unless Jake Cooper, who scored two amazing headers at Carrow Road, gets some action. Hal Robson-Kanu and Simon Cox scored the goals at home but have since moved on. It's fair to say Reading have moved on as a club since that season - so here's hoping for another three points against promotion rivals on Boxing Day. <h3>Recent Meetings With NORWICH</h3> <table border="0" class="fixtures" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="2" width="100%" style="border:0"> <tr> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>DATE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>COMPETITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>OPPOSITION</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>SCORE</b></td> <td class="fixtures" bgcolor="#CCCCFF"><b>REPORT</b></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">28 December 2014 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/281214.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/281214.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">29 November 2014 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/291114.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/291114.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">20 April 2013 </td> <td class="fixtures">Premier League</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/200413.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/200413.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">10 November 2012 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Premier League</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/101112.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/101112.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">12 February 2011 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/120211.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/120211.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">13 November 2010 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/131110.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 3-3</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/131110.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">27 April 2009 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/270409.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/270409.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">13 December 2008 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/131208.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/131208.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">31 January 2006 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Championship</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/310106.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 4-0</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/310106.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">24 September 2005 </td> <td class="fixtures">Championship</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/240905.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 1-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/240905.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">12 April 2004 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Division 1</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/120404.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/120404.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">30 September 2003 </td> <td class="fixtures">Division 1</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/300903.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 1-2</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/300903.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">05 March 2003 </td> <td class="fixtures">Division 1</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/050303.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 1-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/050303.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">18 September 2002 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Division 1</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/180902.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-2</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/180902.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">03 May 1998 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Division 1</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/030598.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/030598.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">21 October 1997 </td> <td class="fixtures">Division 1</td> <td class="fixtures"> Norwich (Away) </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 0-0</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <div style="color:#999999">Report not available</div> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">04 March 1997 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Division 1</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/040397.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#0000FF;"><b>W:</b> 2-1</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/040397.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">16 November 1996 </td> <td class="fixtures">Division 1</td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/161196.html">Norwich (Away)</a> </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 1-1</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <a href="/matdoc/161196.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixturesh">16 March 1996 </td> <td class="fixturesh">Division 1</td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/160396.html">Norwich (HOME)</a> </td> <td class="fixturesh"><span style="color:#FF0000;">L: 0-3</span></td> <td class="fixturesh"> <a href="/matdoc/160396.html">Read report...</a> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="fixtures">30 December 1995 </td> <td class="fixtures">Division 1</td> <td class="fixtures"> Norwich (Away) </td> <td class="fixtures"><span style="color:#000000;">D: 3-3</span></td> <td class="fixtures"> <div style="color:#999999">Report not available</div> </td> </tr> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/608/Norwich_Visit_Reading_In_Desperate_Need_For_Points 608 Fri, 23 Dec 2016 12:51:06 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Third At Christmas Reading delivered a third consecutive 3-2 League defeat to bottom three side Blackburn Rovers, thanks to a stoppage time winner from George Evans. The Royals were twice leading, only to see Blackburn score two equalisers before Evans' late goal sealed the victory, and confirmed that Reading will be third in the table at Christmas. After two straight defeats to nil on the road before this fixture, three goals away from home ensured it will be a very happy Christmas for Jaap Stam and his men. <Br/><br/> Blackburn will feel very hard done by in a game in which they matched the Royals until the dying moments. Reading will feel they deserved the victory after making the most of their opportunities and finishing strongly to claim the points. Stam stuck with his team that had lost 0-2 at Leeds on the previous Tuesday, leaving Kermorgant on the bench in favour of Dominic Samuel. That move paid off just after the half hour mark. Garath McCleary had already nearly put Reading ahead with a shot that was pushed away by the Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper, but set up Samuel later who scored his second Reading goal of the season. <br/><br/> The home side equalised just before half time after a good spell of pressure, and could have gone ahead after half time but Ali Al Habsi found himself in the right place at the right time. With an hour played Liam Kelly nearly scored with a long range effort that hit the crossbar and may have already crossed the line before Moore made sure to put Reading back ahead. Again, Reading's lead was short lived as another header found its way past Al-Habsi. However, the game was set for a dramatic finish as Reading increased the pressure and McCleary was again provider with a cross that saw Evans sidefoot home to make it 3-2 to the Royals. There was still time for some nervous moments but Reading hung on for the win. <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/171216/Blackburn_2_Reading_3"><strong>Blackburn Rovers 3 Reading 2</strong> - Match Opinion</a></li> </ul> <table cellpadding=3 cellspacing=1 width=95%><tr><td colspan=15 class=table_a>Championship Table at: 19 December 2016</td></tr><tr><td class=table_b>&nbsp;</td><td class=table_b>&nbsp;</td><td class=table_b>Pl</td><td class=table_b>HW</td><td class=table_b>HD</td><td class=table_b>HL</td><td class=table_b>HF</td><td class=table_b>HA</td><td class=table_b>AW</td><td class=table_b>AD</td><td class=table_b>AL</td><td class=table_b>AF</td><td class=table_b>AA</td><td class=table_b>GD</td><td class=table_b>POINTS</td></tr><tr><td class=table_1 >1</td><td class=table_1 ><a class=table_1 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Newcastle ">Newcastle </a></td><td class=table_1 >22</td><td class=table_1 >7</td><td class=table_1 >0</td><td class=table_1 >3</td><td class=table_1 >23</td><td class=table_1 >11</td><td class=table_1 >9</td><td class=table_1 >1</td><td class=table_1 >2</td><td class=table_1 >22</td><td class=table_1 >6</td><td class=table_1 >+28</td><td class=table_1 >49 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_1 >2</td><td class=table_1 ><a class=table_1 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Brighton ">Brighton </a></td><td class=table_1 >22</td><td class=table_1 >8</td><td class=table_1 >2</td><td class=table_1 >1</td><td class=table_1 >22</td><td class=table_1 >6</td><td class=table_1 >6</td><td class=table_1 >4</td><td class=table_1 >1</td><td class=table_1 >13</td><td class=table_1 >8</td><td class=table_1 >+21</td><td class=table_1 >48 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_2 >3</td><td class=table_2 style='color:#FF0000;' ><a class=table_2 style='color:#FF0000;' href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=READING">READING</a></td><td class=table_2 >22</td><td class=table_2 >7</td><td class=table_2 >3</td><td class=table_2 >1</td><td class=table_2 >17</td><td class=table_2 >8</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >1</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >13</td><td class=table_2 >21</td><td class=table_2 >+1</td><td class=table_2 >40 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_2 >4</td><td class=table_2 ><a class=table_2 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Huddersfield ">Huddersfield </a></td><td class=table_2 >22</td><td class=table_2 >7</td><td class=table_2 >1</td><td class=table_2 >2</td><td class=table_2 >14</td><td class=table_2 >9</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >2</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >12</td><td class=table_2 >17</td><td class=table_2 >0</td><td class=table_2 >39 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 ><a class=table_2 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Leeds ">Leeds </a></td><td class=table_2 >22</td><td class=table_2 >7</td><td class=table_2 >2</td><td class=table_2 >3</td><td class=table_2 >15</td><td class=table_2 >9</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >0</td><td class=table_2 >5</td><td class=table_2 >11</td><td class=table_2 >13</td><td class=table_2 >+4</td><td class=table_2 >38 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_2 >6</td><td class=table_2 ><a class=table_2 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Sheff Wed ">Sheff Wed </a></td><td class=table_2 >22</td><td class=table_2 >8</td><td class=table_2 >0</td><td class=table_2 >3</td><td class=table_2 >16</td><td class=table_2 >11</td><td class=table_2 >3</td><td class=table_2 >4</td><td class=table_2 >4</td><td class=table_2 >10</td><td class=table_2 >12</td><td class=table_2 >+3</td><td class=table_2 >37 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_3 >7</td><td class=table_3 ><a class=table_3 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Derby ">Derby </a></td><td class=table_3 >22</td><td class=table_3 >5</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >11</td><td class=table_3 >5</td><td class=table_3 >5</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >12</td><td class=table_3 >10</td><td class=table_3 >+8</td><td class=table_3 >36 </td></tr> <tr><td class=table_3 >8</td><td class=table_3 ><a class=table_3 href="/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Birmingham ">Birmingham </a></td><td class=table_3 >22</td><td class=table_3 >6</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >18</td><td class=table_3 >15</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >4</td><td class=table_3 >3</td><td class=table_3 >9</td><td class=table_3 >14</td><td class=table_3 >-2</td><td class=table_3 >34 </td></tr> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/607/Reading_Third_At_Christmas 607 Mon, 19 Dec 2016 11:45:36 GMT Hob Nob Anyone?