The Opposition View - Part 2 - Cardiff
1) Now we`re half way through the season, what are your hopes and expectations for the rest of it?
I hope for 1-2 additions in January. Malky wanted three more before the season started, but we didn't get anyone in! If that happens, then to consolidate a play-off position is realistic and would be a fantastic achievement. Without a couple of players, we'll surely fade away to the mid-table position that seemd likely before our great start to the campaign.
2) Who are the player/s to look out for?
Obviously Peter Whittingham. Everyone involved with Championship football knows his quality. A player you'll be less aware of is French striker Rudy Gestede, he won a recall to the side at Nottm Forest and played really well. He's young, raw and inconsistent but he can be a real handful because of it. Strong in the air, pace to match and unpredictable - his contribution could provide a difference.
3) What's your current opinion of Malky Mackay?
Malky is a consummate professional. I simply can't believe how thorough and reasonable he is. Simply, it's a breath of fresh air after 6 years of Dave Jones who is a very capable manager but somewhat morose.... Mackay is very sensible, determined and has done a huge amount of research into every aspect of the club - especially new signings and it has proved extremely valuable. I think we have a very talented young manager and I'm delighted he's with us.
4) Do you think the Carling Cup could prove to be a distraction from your promotion bid?
The Carling Cup has proved extremely valuable to us in terms of rotating the squad and helping the numerous new players get to know each other. The games were essentially experiments, but clearly worked to some extent. Going forwards, it's probably not ideal since we have a very small squad but personally it's an interesting aside and gives us the chance to help the likes of Gerrard, McPhail, Earnshaw and Darcy Blake some gametime - all those could be called upon before the end of the season.
5) What's your prediction for the game?
I remember the last time Reading visited us - for all the wrong reasons. We were awful that night, and it lead to the sacking of Dave Jones. We're a very different side now, but still have frailties and I'm sure Brian McDermott can generate extra belief from his players. To be honest, Reading are a side that definitely have the beating of us so having beaten Forest - a draw would be acceptable.... a 1-1 draw.