Big weekend for Brian McDermott and Reading

The Premier League Owl

While everybody gets joyfully wrapped up in the hyperbole of last night’s Capital One Cup game, few people seem to be talking about Reading this morning - which is actually the more relevant side of the story from a Premier League perspective.

Admittedly, the team who started last night wasn’t a natural first-choice, but results like that have a habit of reverberating through a club and destroying morale. Enough first-team players were involved throughout the course of the evening for there to be a real concern over the weekend trip to Loftus Road.

QPR are not a good side at the moment, they’re extremely frail - ironically, probably more so at home with the pressure of their own fans than they are away. If Reading were to go to West London and take a point or more, then that might very well spell the end for Mark Hughes. Conversely, if Brian McDermott’s side were to lose that game, then that might just spark a revival from a team who will likely be a relegation rival. Reading don’t need that.

You can look at the short turnaround between last night and Sunday in one of two ways: either it gives the players a quick chance to exorcise some demons, or it denies wounds adequate time to heal. Whichever one turns out to be appropriate, the club need a performance. They snatched a point out of nowhere against Fulham, and this would be an opportunity to build on that - a win or draw would, for all intents and purposes, render the Arsenal loss obsolete. But a loss, and not only will they probably be bottom of the league, confidence would start to drop a bit more ahead of what will be an integral month of fixtures for them. Norwich at home, Wigan away, Aston Villa away; this is not the time for a slump.

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