The challenge for the Royals is simple – get a result at Cardiff on Sunday, and our status in the Sky Bet Championship will be confirmed.
A defeat would leave us relying on our rivals in the relegation places to slip up – Burton, Barnsley and Birmingham all have tough games against teams chasing promotion going into the final weekend.
Reading boss Paul Clement is determined to make sure that it doesn’t come to that – one last push from his side and our supporters can ensure that our fate is in our own hands.
“We’ve come off the back end of a bad result, but we haven’t spent days and days dwelling on the past – there’s nothing we can do about that now,” Clement said.
“We have talked about some of the things that weren’t right, but then we’ve moved on quickly to get the preparation right for this game against Cardiff.
“They’ve got a lot to play for – victory puts them into the Premier League. What an amazing position they have got themselves in.
“We have come to a point of the season where the game is as important for us and we have to make sure we get the right result, so we don’t have to rely on anything else that’s going on around us. That has to be our focus. Some strange things can happen in football.
“When that whistle goes, as a coach, manager or player, you are fully engaged in the job that you have to do.
“If you didn’t look at it that way, it wouldn’t be being professional. We have to do our jobs well, and have the confidence and belief that we can get a result there.
“Of course, we have to play better than we have in the last two games. If we don’t, it’ll be really difficult. But if things come together, and we’re more compact and play with more discipline, and with the fight and desire that you need at this level, we’ll have a chance.”
It’s set to be a full house at the Cardiff City Stadium – fans of the South Wales outfit are arriving en masse in hopes of turning Sunday into a promotion party.
The chance to be party-poopers is all rather incidental from our perspective… however it is quite clear how the Bluebirds have fashioned this situation for themselves, where a win takes them up to the top tier.
Clement continued: “Their style of play is evident and straightforward. They play a direct style and they are strong at set-plays. You have to give them credit for what they have done this season; their style has been very successful and has put them on the brink of the top level of football.
“We have to be ready to deal with that side of things. But we also have to try to express our own game and try to give them some issues as well.
“All of the games in the Championship are hard, physical confrontations. But maybe no more so than when you play Cardiff. So we will have to do the basics very well if we want get something from this game.”