News and Views

Time To Ignore Play-Off History

12 May 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading will be hoping to make it sixth time lucky as they enter the end of season play-offs after five historical disappointments. The play-offs were first introduced in 1987 and since then the Royals have been beaten in three play-off finals and gone out a further two times over two legs at the semi-final stage. This will be our fifth attempt to make it into the top tier via the play-offs.

Thankfully since our last play-off venture, six years ago, a lot has changed at the Madejski Stadium, which will hopefully make history irrelevant. The club has changed dramatically and none of the players that featured in the 2-4 play-off final defeat against Swansea City are now at the club. The management, owners and back-room staff have also seen big changes, which should allow everyone to ignore history.

It is stating the obvious, but Reading, along with the other contenders, will have a one in four chance of making it to the Premier League. All the teams that finished in the play-off positions have little between them and all are capable of beating each other. Despite Reading finishing third, three places and five points ahead of Fulham, it is Fulham that are firm favourites to make it to the Wembley final. Fulham are favourites for promotion, followed by Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield. Reading will remain labelled as underdogs after having that label all season long - despite finishing a massive 10 points clear of Leeds United in 7th place.

Fulham's tag of favourites has been earned by a strong finish to the season and helped along by their 5-0 victory over Reading at Craven Cottage earlier this season. As Jaap Stam was quick to point out in his press conference that result was a freak result with the Royals playing a big chunk of that game with ten men. No-one should expect a similar scoreline this time around. With no injury worries ahead of the game, Stam can take his pick of players and tactics.

As long as we can keep it close we can bring the game back to the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night (16 May, 7:45pm kick-off) and try and finish the job. Saturday's away leg sold out immediately to season ticket holders with over 3000 loyalty points. Amazingly, there are still a handful of tickets available for Tuesday's home leg.

Reading's Play-Off History


Championship Promotion Odds

  • Fulham: 13/8
  • Sheffield Wednesday: 5/2
  • Huddersfield: 10/3
  • Reading: 9/2


Recent Meetings With Fulham

24 January 2017 Championship Fulham (HOME) W: 1-0 Read report...
03 December 2016 Championship Fulham (Away) L: 0-5 Read report...
05 March 2016 Championship Fulham (HOME) D: 2-2 Read report...
24 October 2015 Championship Fulham (Away) L: 2-4 Read report...
17 January 2015 Championship Fulham (Away) L: 1-2 Read report...
13 September 2014 Championship Fulham (HOME) W: 3-0 Read report...
04 May 2013 Premier League Fulham (Away) W: 4-2 Read report...
27 October 2012 Premier League Fulham (HOME) D: 3-3 Read report...


Discussion On This Story:


» 11 May 2017 08:36

So, soon after the unanticipated success of a season watching the (false) third best team in the Championship comes the small matter of the play offs and a double header with Fulham Football Club.

Fulham are being lauded in every quarter it seems as the team everyone wants to go up. Suits me fine, alleviate some of the pressure from an obviously very poor Reading side that struggled badly and should only have just avoided relegation. At least that what it seems a lot of the media and pundits would have you believe. And as for the betting companies….

As ever Reading will do this by going “under the radar”. They will hide in the dark shadows and lurk unconvincingly in various corners of the pitch to let Fulham sparkle and shine brightly before administering a swift kick in the ears and disappearing off to Wembley.

Let’s also not forget that Reading don’t do play-offs by half, they either give a brilliant account of themselves and crash in the semis or make the final and get kicked in the teeth after deserving so much more

Sadly Fulham have a full strength squad available. But then so do Reading with only Callum Harriott totally out of contention.


Lately of the PL group of referees, Warwickshire’s Stuart Attwell will be keeping everything in line


19 Aug 14 > Reading 1-2 Huddersfield Town
29 Nov 13 > Nottingham Forest 2-3 Reading
25 Feb 12 > Middlesbrough 0-2 Reading
20 Sep 08 > Watford 2-2 Reading
10 Aug 08 > Nottingham Forest 0-0 Reading


Not much has changed since the last visit to Fulham which was a long long time ago. Well for a team that actually turned up that is.

Basically recent form at the Cottage is horrendous. In the last 135 minutes of football played there Reading have scored 1 and let in 9 which works out at a rate of a goal being conceded roughly every 15 minutes.

So at least there isn’t a lot to live up to and a good deal that needs to be put right.

In the 20 league games played there Reading have lost 50% and won just 25%. If you look at just cup games there have been 4 previous trips there and there has been one win for Reading and a draw (in the League Cup) and a draw and defeat in the FA Cup so on that basis alone it’s anyone’s game.

 Mr Optimist

» 11 May 2017 09:19

Ruh oh... Wasn't that Watford game in 2008 the ghost goal one?


» 13 May 2017 16:08

Subs : Jaakkola, McCleary, Mendes, Berg, Beerens, Popa, Ilori

Reading XI : Habsi, Gunter, McShane, Moore, Blackett, Obita, Evans, Grabban, Williams, Kermorgant, Swift

 Melton Royal

» 13 May 2017 16:24

From Twatter
Reading starting XI vs Fulham: Al-Habsi, Gunter, Obita, McShane (c), Moore, Blackett, Evans, Williams, Swift, Grabban, Kermorgant.


» 13 May 2017 16:25

Kelly misses out due to illness


» 13 May 2017 16:25

Yeah that, but Swift for McCleary

Feel Kelly is a big loss, hope e is 100% for Tuesday

Still good side otherwise (i.e. What I would have chosen pretty much)


» 13 May 2017 16:26

TEAM NEWS | Here’s how the Royals line up this evening for the first leg of the play-offs…

Reading: Al-Habsi, Gunter, Obita, McShane (c), Moore, Blackett, Evans, Williams, Swift, Grabban, Kermorgant.
Subs: Jaakkola, Van den Berg, Beerens, Mendes, McCleary, Ilori, Popa.


» 13 May 2017 16:31

Seems fairly narrow though so think it's a case of safety first and having to be be patient....


» 13 May 2017 16:34

Yep, prob way to go. Just hope the FBs don't get isolated


» 13 May 2017 16:38

That's a great line-up. Sad that Kelly is out but I would rather have Evans in that defensive role anyway. Hopefully he'll be fresh for Tuesday


» 13 May 2017 16:52

Fcuk. Suddenly got nervous

 Royal Rother

» 13 May 2017 17:00

Lots of width on the bench...

Can see this being a very turgid watch.

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