ROCHDALE IN NEED OF A DOCTOR
AFTER Rochdale’s home match with Fleetwood was postponed last week the club have commissioned a specialist to prepare a report and ensure there’s no repeat.
Dr Stephen Baker will begin work next week to assess the Spotland surface as well as the drainage system.
A statement read:“The main part of Dr Baker’s brief will be to review our long term options and make recommendations for our summer pitch program to ensure the Spotland pitch is returned to the excellent condition that we have witnessed in recent seasons.”
Wednesday were looking good for only their fourth away win of the season thanks to Gary Hooper’s tenth-minute strike.
But Reading defender Jake Cooper headed his side level and new signing Yann Kermorgant came within a whisker of snatching the Royals an unlikely win at the death.
However, Carvalhal insisted his side were good value for their point as their atempt to sit back on their lead backfired.
He said: “Although we are in a very strong position, other teams are clear candidates for sixth place but we are outsiders.
“After seven games we were in seventh position so we have done well to get where we are.
“We made a strong start and we tried to play on the counter attack after taking the lead.
“We have clever players and although they were surrounded like cowboys and Indians at times, they can get out of it.
“Reading had more of the ball but I think we controlled the game. They missed a penalty but I think we had more chances to win the game.”
And Carvalhal was also delighted with Hooper, whose loan spell from Norwich was converted into a permanent deal this week.
“He was my first choice when I came here. When I arrived and was in a position to sign players he was the one I wanted,” he added.
Wednesday made a strong start and Barry Bannan almost fired them into a seventh-minute lead when his fierce shot struck the inside of Ali Al-Habsi’s left-hand post.
And former Celtic striker Hooper showed his predatory instincts by firing the Owls ahead four minutes later.
Fernando Forestieri worked the ball in from the right and when the ball dropped to Hooper he slickly controlled it with his right foot and drilled it home with his left for his fifth goal in three games and his seventh since arriving on loan in October.
Reading offered little threat but on 22 minutes were offered a route back into the game when referee Stephen Martin pointed to the penalty spot when Glenn Loovens clumsily clipped Matej Vydra as the Czech striker nicked the ball off him.
Vydra spotted the ball up but drove his penalty against the post.
Forestieri’s shot was deflected over at the start of the second half, but Reading dominated possession, without looking like breaking down a well-organised Wednesday defence.
But they switched off on 73 minutes when Cooper rose highest to head his first goal of the season and the Royals’ first goal from a corner this campaign.
Kermorgant might have made a dream substitute debut following his £500,000 move from Bournemouth when he flung himself at a cross in the last minute but headed wide from six yards.
Royals boss Brian McDermott said: “That was a good point against the division’s in-form team.
“They started well and scored a good goal but we deserved a point and perhaps should have won it.
“What we have to do is stop teams getting off to a fast start and giving ourselves a lot to do.
“I wanted to try something different which is why I gave George Evans his debut. He looked a little nervous in the first 20 minutes but once he got on the ball a bit he showed he has talent.”