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Interview With an Away Fan - Reading

Ahead of our clash against Reading on Wednesday night, Thomas Hill spoke to Dan from the Tilehurst End blog.

Mike Hewitt

11th in the league table, are you happy with your start to the season?


Given that at one stage this summer it looked like we'd be heading into administration and hadn't signed a player in over 300 days I think we're pretty happy to be within a win of the play-off places. Sure there have been frustrating games like the home defeat to Huddersfield or losing at Wednesday but apart from a hammering at Forest we've been in with a more than decent chance of taking three points from every game we've played in.

Our injury list has made an episode of Holby City look tame but we're finally seeing key players come back so this has given us a solid base to build from.


You’ve not won in three games, what’s going wrong at the minute?

Hard to put your finger on it other than failing to take our chances and some moments of madness from the defence. Wednesday beat us with a deflected free kick that was their only chance, Derby took on a much changed side at their place and picked up a win in a close game while the Wolves game could really have gone to either side.

Stupid own goals, giving away daft free-kicks and moments of decision making madness are never going to help you but when you've got a young side these things do tend to happen,

Which of your players do we need to look out for and why?

Simon Cox has been enjoying his return to his home-town club with four goals already this season plus a fair few assists playing behind a lone striker. That front man is likely to be Glenn Murray who's scored 3 in 4 league starts and has looked decent since joining from Palace so he'll also be a handful. Oliver Norwood has also been a great creative influence in the middle so expect a lot of our play to go through him.

What system will you be playing for the game?

Nigel Adkins tinkers from moment to moment but generally it's been a 4-2-3-1 system that occasionally morphs into a 4-3-3.

If you could sign any Leeds player who would it be?

Stuart Taylor obviously! In all honesty it's hard to pick a Leeds player you'd want right now as so few have stood up and made a name for themselves. Austin can have some good games, while Pearce and Warnock are both solid enough at this level. I'd probably take one or both or those defenders given our lack of depth at the back though Pearce and Pearce as a centre-back pairing would just be too damn confusing.....

What do you think our strengths and weaknesses are?

You're Leeds so you'll always have some good backing home and away, while teams will give you a touch more respect even if your performances in the past decade haven't exactly warranted it. However, on the pitch again I don't really know enough about the side to make an informed judgement. Like I said you do have names that have been in this league for a long time so that should help you but given the drama around the club and the numerous managerial changes you've not got a settled enough side to be judged on!

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Well we're a team that can score goals, though that's been more of a Madejski Stadium trait than on the road. Likewise we seem to leak plenty at home but keep it tightish away. In Glenn Murray we've got a natural goalscorer while players like Nick Blackman, Simon Cox and Jamie Mackie are all capable of finding the net at this level. Jordan Obita is an excellent attacking wing-back as is Chris Gunter while Norwood loves to pick out a long range pass.

However our defence is still creaky and Michael Hector has shown significant promise, he's also prone to the odd gaffe, likewise Hope Akpan.

Three to get promoted and three to go down?

Amazing how quickly your views can change, our pre-season preview series had the vast majority (myself included) picking Fulham so shows what we know! Given what I've seen so far I'll say Norwich and Forest to go up with hopefully Reading sneaking through the play-offs ;)

To go down, well Blackpool look an absolute shambles Bolton look a team heading one way and I'll tip Rotherham to join them.

First goal scorer today?


I'll go for Glenn Murray.

And the result?


A 1-1 draw.