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Interview With An Away Fan: Reading

Ahead of Tuesday night's game against Reading in the Championship, Thomas Hill caught up with Dan from Reading Blog The Tilehurst End.

Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

13th in the table, can you make the playoffs?

On paper yes but realistically it's asking a hell of a lot for Reading to go on a sensational winning streak and for the group who've broken away to get pegged back. We've got the quality in the team if they're all fit and on form to beat just about anyone but I'd settle for a positive end to the campaign to set us up for next season.

Steve Clarke seems to have settled things down of late are the fans still happy with his appointment?

He's not the most charismatic boss we've ever had and he doesn't have the connection that you felt with a Brian McDermott or a Steve Coppell but after the awful reign under Nigel Adkins he's been a breath of fresh air. He's got us back to basics, doesn't talk overly positive nonsense and most importantly we're actually getting results. Long-term the jury remains out and this summer's rebuilding job looks a massive one so it'll be fascinating to see how he handles that!

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

Leeds fans know all about Garath McCleary so there's little point hyping him up. Pavel Pogrebnyak is in some of the best form we've seen since his move to Berkshire while it'll be fascinating to see if Yakubu has still got it after his deadline day move. Danny Williams and Nathaniel Chalobah have both scored in the past couple of games as our midfielders finally seem to taking more risks in the final third.

What system will you be playing for the game?

After back-to-back wins playing 4-4-2 it's hard to see Clarke changing things up but given the busy schedule ahead there's an outside chance he might throw another midfielder into the mix.

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

I loved the Luke Murphy signing at the time and from all accounts he's slowly showing his potential up in Yorkshire after a slow start. Otherwise Sol Bamba is a good defender at this level while Billy Sharp again knows where the net is at Championship level... or he certainly used to!

What do you think our strengths and weaknesses are?

You're not the worst team at defending but it's clear that goals are a problem. Obvious to say but that's a massive problem especially if you do concede a goal as it must creep into the players' minds that 'well that's us done for'. We had a similar problem under Nigel Adkins in that if we scored first we'd generally get at least a draw but if we fell behind I think we won just three games in nearly two seasons.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Good question! Right now I'd say we're a 6 or 7/10 in a lot of areas without being overly weak or overly strong in many. Might sound like a bit of a cop out of an answer but we're functional rather than explosive right now. I still think we're a little short of ideas when we face a team who sit back, with creativity through the middle not always the best but the last couple of games have shown that maybe that's changing.

Three to get promoted, and three to go down?

Derby, Bournemouth and Boro to go up, Blackpool, Wigan and Rotherham to go down

First goalscorer today?

I'll say Hal Robson-Kanu because he's due a goal from open play and seems to enjoy playing against Leeds.

Once again a big thanks to Dan for speaking to us, you can follow The Tilehurst End on Twitter here.

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