Often Partisan

Reading Preview in Association with EZE Group

Blues entertain Reading at St Andrew’s today looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat to bottom club Blackpool. The match sees the return of talismanic striker Nikola Zigic to Blues colours after his visa was granted this week.


Reading come into game six places and three points ahead of Blues in fourteenth. The Royals form has been patchy of late with three defeats in their last six games – failing to score in two and keeping a clean sheet in two. Their win away to Norwich was their first away win since August – one win in eight games in all competitions.

Hal Robson-Kanu will need a fitness test after limping off with a hamstring injury against Bolton while Jamie Mackie, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Anton Ferdinand all remain out.


Blues welcome back Wes Thomas after suspension and he will probably compete with Nikola Zigic for a spot on the bench. Andy Shinnie should return after a knock but Paul Robinson could miss out. Demarai Gray may see himself replaced by Koby Arthur, Lee  Novak or even Mark Duffy on the wing after off-colour display against Blackpool.

I’m looking forwards to this one – mainly because of the return of Zigic. It’s definitely a winnable game and it will be interesting to see how much Rowett shakes it up after losing to Blackpool. With only seventeen goals in their twenty league games so far Blues do need to find the net more often – only Blackpool, Rotherham and Sheffield Wednesday have scored fewer in the division – and I’d like to see Rowett improve fortunes going forward.

Match previews sponsored by EZE Group - Lifestyle Experts

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69 Responses to “Reading Preview in Association with EZE Group”

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Whichever way I look at it, I can’t see Reading giving us too many problems. Their main threats are through Robson-Kanu and Norwood…. but I think we’ll be far too strong for them in most departments. 3-1 Blues.

  • Big Al says:

    Just floating a thought – possibly the biggest crime Pannu committed against the club was that he was massively over-paid. No one was more over-paid than Ziggy yet he enjoys a cult status.

    • steve says:

      Zigic has been instrumental in all of our big moments in recent years.Leave the bloke alone ffs. I really hope he comes on today.If he does,then you’ll see by the fans reaction how much he’s thought of. 2 0 Blues today.

    • Blue lizard says:

      maybe it was because Pannu was a fat lump who gave nothing back except arrogance and smugness..I hope he chokes on a sprout!!

  • poppa999 says:

    I’m a bit fed up at the over-paid Zigic line. As if it was his fault. Pannu paid himself.

    Think it is a bit early for Zigic to make a start especially with Thomas back. Expect him over Christmas or at Blthe maybe.

  • Dave Mann says:

    I’ve picked my side earlier in the week and 2-1or3-1comes to mind for the blues and I hope zigic is on the bench but will there be space for him ?kro

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Only change today, is Shinnie in, Novak on the bench.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Up until late last night, I thought it would be 4-1 (I could feel it in my water.) But I thought that might be greedy, so went for 3-1. But I was convinced we were on for a good win today. Well done lads… but should have been 8. ;)

  • Oldbluenose says:

    Woweee,!!, Whilst we all hoped for another home win, — 3,points,– 6-1, is over the moon wins.

    Onwards and Upwards.

  • c.jones says:

    That was brilliant.people have said what a difference Rowett has made ,but that was unbelievable. MoM for me,Shinnie,his footwork and workdays were excellent

  • steve says:

    That was as comfortable a win as i’ve seen in a long long time. I don’t think we had to get out of 2nd gear. What an improvement in Andy Shinnie,unbelievable. thought we looked shaky at the back until we got the third goal,but once we got that goal we settled down and really took control of the game. My only gripe is Randolph. His kicking is awful and his punching today was shocking.Darren,you’re a big man,flatten everybody in your way and get to the ball.All in all though,i,m really happy with the way things are going.

  • Peter Bates says:

    Superb weekend so far pp gone a 6-1win vile lose lottery win here I come 3out of 4 ain’t bad

  • steve says:

    Just seen the stats for todays game.it wasn’t as comfortable as i thought :)

    • Trevor Honnor says:

      At one point on the BBC website it was claiming that Reading had 70% possession, whilst 4-1 down.

      It also said (at the time) that Blues had 4 shots on target to Reading’s 8

  • charlie jones says:

    Stats mean nothing. It was very comfortable, the only time they looked dangerous as opposed to pretty was when Randolph saved their shot,their goal and the last five mins when Blues eased up. 6-1 flattered us but we were deserved winners.

    • steve says:

      That’s what i said.

      • AussieBlue says:

        Crikey! What a great way to wake up on a Sunday morning. Smart phone in hand; straight to the BBC sports website and i see 6-1!! With only 35% of possession!. Here’s a thought…what if Rowett is teaching that possession isn’t everything if you are able to keep the ball out? Make the other side knacker ’emselves hoofing it around and then send in the SAS strikers like a bolt of lightning?

        Would I make a football manager?
        (altogether) Naaaaaaahhhhhh!

        • Hillfield blues says:

          He’s teaching them something mate that’s for sure. Remember apart from Morrison,none of them are his players. He’s making the best out of what he’s got. Imagine him armed with a chequebook.

          • AussieBlue says:

            I’m salivating at the thought of GR with some cash to spend on players he likes, Hillsie. Here’s hoping that Santa, the Tooth Fairy, all of the Deities plus Uncle Tom Cobbley make it happen!

          • StaffsBlue says:

            The players are showing the faith I had in them at the start of the season… and proving that they’re not League 1 players taking us down like a lot of people said. True, there’s a new man in charge now, but they’re still the same players.

            But, we have to keep winning if we’re going to crack that top half. A win against Huddersfield will only take us up one place at best, but those 3 points and one apiece against Derby and Forest and we’ll hit the 30 point mark in time for the new year. Then we’ll be in amongst the top 10 or 12. It could be a happy new year. :) KRO!

        • charles jones says:

          I honestly don’t know how they get these ‘Stats’ or what use they serve. Reading had a lot of the ball by passing it backwards and sideways , neat little tic-tac passes without any danger whatsoever to the Blue Goal. The only time I thought they would score was when we eased off twice in the match. Reading reminded me of those chocolate cake things you buy at the German Market, lovely to look at but inside, just a load of nothing.
          The REAL
          ‘Stat’ 6-1

  • Dave mann says:

    Staffs you said you hope it’s “well done lads but should have been 8” …well me old bluenose it should have been 8 and a performance of attacking hit in them on the break football…. A pleasure to watch and a great way to bounce back from Blackpool and put us in good mood for the Xmas games…my only worry?….January is round the corner and if anyone offers 2/3 million for damari gray then we could or will loose him and that would put a dampner on things but fingers crossed and lets keep this run of 2 points per game under Gary and push onwards and upwards.. I can enjoy my Sunday now!!! Kro.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s true dave, but at the end of the day, he’s only one player. Think what we could do with £2/3m? It could well create the launch pad for a tilt at the top 6. We may not make it… but it would be fun trying. ;)

      • Art says:


        Do you really believe the transfer money from the sale of any of our players will be reinvested in new players for a promotional push?

        I’m afraid I don’t-the money will end up in the back pocket of CY.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          If Pavlakis wants to remain on good terms with Blues fans, he’ll have to provide some of the money for the team if they do cash in on Gray. If you look at the money for Adeyemi and the add-on from the Mutch deal, I think, at least, part of that was used to change the manager and for certain players brought in. I don’t think anyone would expect the whole transfer fee to be spent on players… but a decent percentage would benefit the team. That would get us a couple of better quality players in I would think.

    • steve says:

      Maybe we could get him back on loan if we sell him. As i said before,i would be prepared to lose Gray( i dont want to)if it mean’t we could buy Morrison.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Gray is a decent player, but doesn’t influence games regularly enough at the moment, other than yesterday. Morrison came in and bang… the defence improved 90% from his first game and it’s continued that way. So yes, I’m always willing to sacrifice a player for the good of the team…. but only if that money is used to strengthen the squad.

        • Shirley Blue says:

          I think scoring a hat trick before half time is having an influence on a game isn’t it? He is an absolute gem.

          • StaffsBlue says:

            If you’d read what I said properly, I said “other than yesterday.” Up until then, he’s not been influencing games enough, considering his skill on the ball. Maybe yesterday’s game will give him confidence to push on now. I hope he does stay, but I’m not naive enough to believe that if he’s offered a decent wage somewhere else, he won’t be off like a shot.

  • Raymondo says:

    We only had 35% possession but amazingly we took all our chances. That’s what makes the difference. My neighbour’s a Derby fan and never stops telling me how good they are. Hope GR’s men can ruffle his feathers on Boxing day It would be a great Xmas present. KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Maybe the players will realise now, that possession means sweet fanny adams without the goals to go with it. Let’s face it, we had loads of possession under the old manager, but could rarely score when we were on top. Well, I’ll take 30% possession and 3 or 4 goals a game every week, thank you very much. :)

  • Dave Mitch says:

    Imagine a BCFC in which we don’t have to sell the first player looking good each season just so that we can survive financially? KRO

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I doubt that will happen without Premiership money and even then, there’s no guarantees. We’ve always sold our best players and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. The ideal, would be to have a team we could hold on to, with a core of homegrown players.

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Demarai Gray, even at 18, is our most potent attacking threat. If Blues have any pretentions
    to achieve promotion next season the club must resist bids for Gray and Brown.
    Morrison has been magnificent, but given a straight choice between Gray and him I would choose Gray staying without question.

  • Peter Bates says:

    I have no doubt that gray will move on but sitting on the bench somewhere hoping to get twenty mins won’t be any good to him another season at blues would in my opinion be more beneficial

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Trevor Francis stayed for about 9 years and it didn’t affect his career much. He still went on to win medals and plenty of England caps. Players today are in too much of a hurry to earn the big bucks, just to languish in a Premier team’s reserves.

      • mark says:

        didnt one of our younger prospects run off to fulham!! because they waved money in front of his face….

        • StaffsBlue says:

          During the Norwich match, the commentator said that Redmond’s goal was only his 2nd for the club and (I think) his first in 50 games. :-O Neither he, Butland or Adeyemi have pulled up any trees since they left. In my honest opinion, none of them were developed enough for those big moves. Another 2 or 3 seasons with us and maybe they’d have had a better chance. The grass isn’t always greener elsewhere.

          • charles jones says:

            Tweet from Nathan
            Always great feeling when we win , even better feeling to score, absolutely buzzing for the result we got yesterday .. on to the next one , also massive win for BCFC what can i say but great day all round

          • steve says:

            He only scored 7 for us.

          • steve says:

            Never understood the fuss over Adeyemi.I thought that was good business selling him. not a patch on Davis.

      • steve says:

        i think it did Staffs.If he had moved earlier he would have had more than the 52 caps he got.And he could have won more medals. He has said before that he didn’t want to leave but the club wanted the money. not much changes.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          That’s strange steve, because I’ve read and heard interviews with Francis, where he said he was desperate to get away in the end. When Jim Smith came in, he promised he’d try to get him a good move if he’d give it one more season. And Smithy was true to his word. That’s from TF’s own mouth, so I have no reason to disbelieve him.

  • Tony says:

    Brilliant win BUT, it was a day when everything we did came off, you don’t get many of those days.
    Think it would be unwise to read to much into a result like that, problems persist not least with Randolph, his kicking was terrible again he just does not convince, the midfield at times were overran.
    It was never a 6-1 scoreline we just did not control the game in a way that the result suggested, there is no doubt that Morrison has made a huge difference.
    Every effort should be made to keep Gray a team should be built around him, dont agree in selling him for three mill and buying other players to replace him what can you get for that money?. We have quite a big squad, we now need quality over quantity. Things are going well Rowett should be trusted to add the quality we need.

    • mark says:

      it will come down to how much Liverpool are really interested in taking him…..what gray is doing is putting himself into the shop window……whether you or I agree to disagree premiership, the center stage, the money…….along with his agent….

    • StaffsBlue says:

      No one’s suggesting we SHOULD sell Gray, Tony, but you have to be realistic about it. If Liverpool come waving loads of dosh, what can you do? £2/3m is derisory for sure… but with our owners, it’s the going price for our top players. If the worst comes to the worst, and he does go, you’ve got to take advantage of it and improve the team.

  • mark says:

    well the stats showed 39% blues in procession, what did it for us was 4 goals from 4 shots makes a big difference if you take those chances when they come….. 15,000 crowd is pretty crap imo for a game which exploded into life from the 4 min….

  • mark says:

    wonder if Donaldson had taken half of his chances earlier on in the season where we might have been…

    • charles jones says:

      I noticed their C/H didn’t bully Ziggi the same as he did Donaldson and Ziggi also handed back some of the C/H’s own medicine.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Although he works really hard, I do think Donaldson gets bullied a lot. The trouble with that, is that he’s so busy battling with centre backs, he rarely has a shot at goal. He needs Zigic or Thomas up there with him.

  • Raymondo says:

    Apparently, according to a neighbour of mine, Tom Ross said on his programme yesterday that BIHL is NOt selling Blues. Definiely NOT. Looks as if CY is definitely intending to (a) win his appeal and (b) return as owner (was he ever anything else?). Very depressing, but if it’s true, it it means the club’s got to learn to build it’s plans around and in spite of it. But if that’s the case maybe CYappreciates that we need to be promoted and therore need to keep our best players and Gary Rowett. With Pannu out of the club’s daily running, we might be able to do it! Let’s hope so. If CY walks we might see him back at Stans. He has a thick enough skin to do it I’m sure. As somebody said on this site, If CY does sell eventually it will be worth more as a Premiership Club. I hope that’s the way out for us. Mind you, this is all based on what Tom Ross reputedly said yesterday during his programme and after his Albion/Villa commentary. KRO

  • mark says:

    what would like on record on op is a big thank you to clark for his influence on players like Dimmy….:)

  • Peter Bates says:

    When Jesse lingaard scored four for blues united fans clamoured for him to return to old Trafford he has done very little since his stint at blues tom once could only make the bench for forest against us it’s not just about talent gray will be a good player no doubt but not sitting on a bench somewhere he will play at blues andthe championship is a good learning curve

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I heard Chris Hughton was at the match yesterday. I wonder if he’s eyeing up the Reading job? lol

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