This week, The Scratching Shed is pleased to welcome Daniel Wimbush from Reading FC site The Tilehurst End for a look ahead to this weekend’s clash between Leeds United and Reading.
How’s this season been for you so far?
It’s been up and down as we’ve had to make the adjustments that come from losing your best player (Shane Long), but we’re gradually starting to find some consistency.
After an August win at Leicester we stuttered and lost 5 in a row, culminating in perhaps the worst performance in recent memory at home to Watford. Since then Brian McDermott has signed Adam Le Fondre, Kaspars Gorkks and Joe Mills and we’re looking a half decent team. Results have picked up and after 3 wins from 4 we’re looking up rather than down.
You beat Leeds to a play-off spot last season, do think reaching the play-offs is a realistic target this year for Reading?
It’s certainly a realistic target though I think it might be just beyond us this season. While we’re not a bad side I think there are so many good teams in the division with a lot more resources than us so we might have to make do with a year of consolidation before making a push next season.
Alex McCarthy has been excellent for us on loan so far. Where does he stand at Reading and do you think there would be a possibility of us signing him permanetly?
A lot of Reading fans were calling for McCarthy to start the season as number one and it’s a call that hasn’t really subsided despite Adam Federici having the best season of his career. Most see McCarthy’s potential surpassing our resident Aussie and for that reason feel he should be into the side even if Fedders may be the best option right now. However Brian has remained loyal to those that perform well and with a fairly new defence, keeping an experienced head seems a sensible course right now.
Going forward and I think Federici will be off in the summer giving Alex the chance to start next year as our number one. That being said if yourselves or another club made a big offer with a decent sell on clause that allowed us to strengthen the squad in other areas, the club might accept it and go forward with Federici and Danish U21 international Mikkel Andersen.
Who should we be looking out for on Saturday?
Jimmy Kebe had probably his best game of the season on Saturday and gained national attention with his sock pulling incident. When he’s flying he’s the best winger in this league but when he’s bad he’s fairly awful. Adam Le Fondre is capable of moments of magic and can’t be ignored and you’ll know what Ian Harte is capable of from a set piece.
If you could sign any current Leeds player for Reading, who would it be?
I’d enjoy seeing how Snodgrass would get on at the Madejski he’s a player I’ve always admired and would love us to sign.
Finally, what’s you prediction for the game?
I think it’s going to end 1-1 in a tight game.