We’re past the half-way mark of the season already; this is when the league table really begins to take shape and we begin to learn which teams will really be in the mix at the season’s end.
And for the Royals, our stretch of ‘revenge’ games have started fairly well. A stint of five straight games against sides which beat us earlier in the year began with a home win against Coventry and a draw at Preston… next up, AFC Bournemouth in RG2.
It’s a big fixture in the context of the league standings – Bournemouth just two points behind us – and it’s also a chance to redress the balance after the Cherries overturned a two-goal deficit at half-time to win when we met in November.
“It’s a massive game and we know it; not winning at Preston makes next week bigger,” said Reading midfielder Josh Laurent. “The games get bigger as the weeks go on, and we’re up for it.
“We went toe-to-toe with Bournemouth at their place and we felt we should have done more to see it over the line; hopefully this time we can see it out and see them off for three points.
“We’re growing as a team. We started the season really well, we’re learning and getting better each week. “And we’re five games unbeaten now which shows we’re developing. So it’s a big test for us, and we’ll stand up to it.”