Talking points ahead of Leeds game
After we got a point on the board midweek against Bolton, we are back at the Mad Stad again, as we welcome out-of-form Leeds United. We take a look at the main talking points ahead of the game.
Could a better atmosphere help the team? - Whenever we play Leeds at home, it always seem to attract a bigger home and certainly away following. The recent midweek home attendances have been under 10,000, which has never been that bad, but hopefully a Saturday afternoon kick off will help that. We know the players are low on confidence and it's not solely down to the lack of atmosphere, but maybe it could give them something to work off.
We need to take advantage of a fellow team low on confidence - Leeds are the only team that are matching us up at the moment for abysmal form. That will either make a drab or energetic affair on Saturday, I have no idea which one! Whatever it may be, we need to take advantage of their lack of confidence and use players like Barrow to hurt them. The first goal is going to be massive.
Aluko has to step up and be counted - It's fair to say its not exactly working out for the summer signing, who had another poor showing on Tuesday evening. With McCleary out for the season, he is probably going to keep his place with the lack of options, so he really needs to start bucking his ideas up. So much more was expected of him and fans are being very patient, especially considering the treatment of Blackett, so he needs to start hitting some form soon or his Reading career could be as good as over.
Will Tom Holmes retain his place? - The biggest surprise from the team selection the other night was the inclusion of 17-year old Tom Holmes, first Royals appearance. He certainly grew into the game and looked very assured, but the question is, will Stam keep the faith? Ilori was dropped to the bench due to his poor form, but could return on Saturday, but will it be at the expense of Holmes? Personally I would, as it's best to ease him in first and not throw him in the deep end in a big game.
With Birmingham, Barnsley and Burton having tough games, it's a perfect chance to pull further away - A win tomorrow could be massive, could possibly even go as far to say it could keep us up. If Birmingham, Barnsley and Burton lose again, and we get a rare three points on the board, it could mean we are eight points clear with the others having nine games to go - I'm not saying that will be enough, but that could be a giant step to having survival secured.