For­est clash has be­come must-win for Gomes

The Wokingham Paper - - SPORT - With Simeon Pickup

MO­MEN­TUM isn’t a word that’s been as­so­ci­ated with Read­ing Foot­ball Club in quite some time. Although the Roy­als have man­aged a hand­ful of league wins this sea­son, they’ve not come back-to-back, in­stead feel­ing more random than by de­sign.

Any at­tempt at cre­at­ing some mo­men­tum has been let down at the first op­por­tu­nity – any win in­evitably fol­lowed by a draw or loss, any promis­ing dis­play fol­lowed by a bad day at the of­fice. Turn­ing that all around is a daunt­ing task for Jose Gomes, but he’s got a great shot at achiev­ing it.

He may have over­seen a re­turn of three losses and one draw in his open­ing four matches as Read­ing boss, but there’s a real sense that progress is be­ing made.

On the pitch, the per­for­mances against

QPR and Manch­ester United were two of the bet­ter dis­plays we’ve seen this sea­son with Read­ing knock­ing the ball around with a swag­ger un­be­com­ing of a side 23rd in the Cham­pi­onship.

Off the pitch, Gomes’ straight-talk­ing ap­proach in in­ter­views and bru­tal trim­ming of the squad have gone down well with sup­port­ers.

He en­joys a level of good­will and, dare

I say it, a sense of op­ti­mism that Read­ing sim­ply must trans­late into points.

The first test of that comes on Satur­day with the visit of Not­ting­ham For­est, a must-win match if ever there were one.

Three points against the Reds wouldn’t get Read­ing out of the rel­e­ga­tion zone, but they would re­mind the play­ers and fans that good per­for­mances can be backed up with re­sults – a feel­ing we’ve al­most for­got­ten in re­cent times.

A loss or draw and the wor­ries will creep back in, Gomes hav­ing had five chances at a win as Read­ing man­ager and failed each time. Get it right on Satur­day though, and maybe we’re not headed for League One af­ter all.

Simeon can be found on Twit­ter @SimFromBucks and his Read­ing fan­site ac­count is @TheTile­hurstEnd

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