Reading are a disciplined and hard-working side in the mould of their manager, Steve Coppell, and it is their work ethic that carried them last season.
Reading have two big problems though – one, they have reinforced their squad much, and two, the other teams will know how Reading play and will be better prepared this time around than last season.
Coppell has also experienced the troubles of a small but successful club when he lost Sidwell to Chelsea, and Lita and Shorey could be gone next season. It’s difficult, but Coppell has to prepare in advance and for that he needs to bring in players now.
Manager Status: Steve Coppell has done well at Reading and there’s no way he could be dumped this season.
Transfer Analysis: Reading haven’t been convincing at all in the transfer market and in my view need quality AND quantity in their ranks to beat off the second-season syndrome. Surely they have the money to spend, or at least some money?
Players to watch: Leroy Lita, if he can stay fit.
August Fixtures: Manchester United away, Chelsea and Everton at home and Bolton away. With that lineup it will be difficult for Steve Coppell’s side to get off to a good start but Coppell is a no-nonsense, hard-working manager and he will make Reading fight till the death, and it is this quality that will keep Reading in the Premiership come next season.
Expectations: Reading overachieved last season but there’s no reason why they can’t repeat it. Competition will be brutal though, and Reading fans would be expecting a minimum of a mid-table finish (9th-15th) and a good cup run.
Predictions: Mid-table (9th-15th).